Marriage. True love. However you put it, the union between two (or more) people is a sacred commitment that should be undertaken with the utmost seriousness.
Except in TV land! There, a man might propose marriage to a woman by building giant letters out of burning gelatin. He could dress up like a knight in shining armor. However he does it, it's going to be funny
These kind of wacky marriage proposals even creep into serious dramas to provide comic relief. Also, Fanfiction
writers love to make their proposals as convoluted and wacky as possible — if they aren't overflowing with heartrending Purple Prose
, that is.
Sub-trope of Grand Romantic Gesture
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- A commercial for Pepsi showed a skywriting plane. All the town came out to watch, while drinking Pepsi. It spelled out "MARRY ME SUE." According to legend there happened to be a woman named Sue in a town near where they filmed the skywriting, who had a boyfriend who had told her that he would never ask her to marry him but if he did it would be in some big grand gesture; so she assumed he was asking her.
Anime and Manga
- In The Ultimates, Tony Stark makes Natasha Romanova her own version of the Iron Man suit for her birthday, then takes her on a test flight over her home city, St. Petersburg, Russia, where it's revealed he's paid the city's entire population to stand in a field spelling out his proposal.
- This is the entire basis of Bobby Crosby's Marry Me — a lesbian fan of the rock idol female lead had her male friend hold a sign that read "Marry Me" at a concert while said friend snuck off to go to the bathroom. Said idol saw the sign and took him up on it and instantly had them wed on stage. Plot Ensues.
- In Spider-Man, when Peter first proposed Mary Jane, he gave her a box of Cracker Jacks with a diamond ring in it (Amazing Spider-Man #182).
- Greg Focker plans one of these at the start of Meet the Parents, having Pam's students hold up a sign asking her to marry him, before learning that she wants him to ask her father for her hand in marriage, thereby kickstarting the plot.
- Sherman from the The Nutty Professor 2 does this. At first trying to use a mariachi band to help him out but Buddy (who's part of his system after the events of the last movie and occasionally causes "hiccups" in him that force Sherman to talk crass) ruins it. The second attempt involves Sherman using a special spray and fireflies to spell out his proposal. This time he met with success.
- The proposal(s) at Yankee Stadium in Anger Management. This is Truth in Television, since many people propose at sporting events.
- Pierre Curie to Marie in Madam Curie. Not sure how true to life the proposal was, but amusing to watch.
- Oblivion 2013 : As far as they go, proposing on the observation deck of the Empire State Building by holding the ring in front of a viewfinder while your fiancee is looking through it (and convincing her to look through said viewfinder by saying that it can show the future) is a mild (and pretty sweet) example.
- In Anansi Boys, Fat Charlie makes one of these as cover to get away from his homicidal former boss. He presents a lime instead of a ring. (His proposal is also, as we see in the epilogue, quite sincere.)
- The Vorkosigan Saga contains multiple examples:
- Cordelia's engineering of Kou's proposal to Drou in Barrayar.
- Miles repeats Cordelia's performance with Baz and Elena in The Warrior's Apprentice.
- Ekaterin proposes to Miles while he is being (falsely) accused of murder*. His response: "Of course! Now?"
- It got wackier. Directly behind her were Miles's Parents who just can't wait to introduce themselves.
- Lynn Flewelling's Tamír Triad has one at the end. Courtesy goes to Ki who finally got some issues sorted out with himself while nearly dying. After waking up he proposes to [Tamír] to "clear things up" after her complaining that she hates sleeping in separate rooms from him and other inconveniences (thanks to etiquette and her being a woman and his queen. Tamír even lampshades it by calling Ki delirious. Which he admits. Doubles with Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
- Subverted with Greg's uncle and his (most recent) wife in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. Someone else, whose girlfriend had the same name as her, proposed at a sporting event on the jumbotron and she mistook it as being for her. Not only was Greg's uncle not planning on proposing, but he actually was about to break up with her so he could date her sister.
- In The Quest Of The Unaligned, Alaric picks one of the most bizarre places and times on this entire page to propose to Laeshana: In a place outside space-time, right after basically rewriting her soul to transform her from an aesh into an orah. She says yes.
Live Action TV
- Savaged in a sketch on BBC comedy show John Finnemores Souvenir Programme. Two women are heard talking about the various irritating/publicly embarrassing proposals they've received from men (through a megaphone in Trafalgar Square, throwing an expensive ring into a gorge, etc.) when Finnemore's voice breaks in:
"MEN! DON'T TRY TO BE CLEVER! The men in these stories were hapless idiots, but SO ARE YOU! They all tried to be original! To think differently! DO NOT DO THIS! Be unoriginal! Think same-ily! The acceptable romantic gestures are in order! Flowers! Dinner! Presents of something she mentioned ages ago and then forgot about! A proposal should be somewhere nice, with a ring, private enough for her to say no if she wants to! Men only get away with any variation on these in Hollywood movies, and that's because the same person gets to write What He Does and What She Thinks About It! You don't get to do that! So stick to the stuff that works! AND ALWAYS KEEP THE RECEIPT!"
- In Of Thee I Sing, Wintergreen, for publicity purposes, proposes to Mary in every state on his campaign trail.
- In the letters section of an issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly, a man wrote in recounting how he created an original Game Boy tennis game which would display his proposal upon winning, and gave it to his girlfriend for Christmas.
- Similarly, Ian McConville, one of the creators of Mac Hall and Three Panel Soul, proposed to his girlfriend Jess by designing her a special video game with the marriage proposal at the end of it.
- Done in Infinite Space by Cico to Kira, where he just grabs her by the shoulders and yells his intentions and about wanting a lot of babies. She ends up slapping him.
- In the Awakening expansion for Dragon Age: Origins, the Warden can find the corpse of a man who poisoned himself after his attempt at such a proposal goes horribly awry and his would-be fiancee dumps him. He tried to lead her on a scavenger hunt that ended with an engagement ring, but she got offended over the wording of one of her clues, thinking he was playing some dirty joke on her.
- Yu Gi Oh The Abridged Series
Tristan: Hello, Serenity, you probably can't see me right now, but I'm standing in the middle of a field, it's a very romantic image, by the way will you marry me?
Serenity: Tristan! What kind of lonely deranged freak proposes to someone on the internet?!
Tristan: Little Kuriboh.
- Lolcat marriage proposal.
- Rob Malda, the founder of Slashdot, proposed to his girlfriend Kathleen Fent, on the Slashdot frontpage. She said yes.
- Improv Everywhere staged a fake version of one of these in a New York subway car. The random bystanders who helped the young man propose to his girlfriend by holding up signs when she entered the car had no idea that the two of them had already been married for years.
- A rather important and necessary deception, actually, considering the requirement of a guaranteed heartfelt "yes" for the prank to end happily.
- This Cracked article.
- One of My Life Is Average's more popular older posts is: "My girlfriend and I read MLIA all the time together. Today I decided to be bold. So here it goes.... Kate, Will You Marry Me? MLIA." A few other posters have borrowed the idea as well.
- The Simpsons:
- The Donkey Kong Country episode has DK attempting to propose marriage to Candy (something he really doesn't want to go through with), resulting in the following exchange:
: Candy, may I have this hand in (gulps)
marriage? (kisses hand) Candy
: Sure, but you'd better ask Bluster; it's his
- The wacky (sometimes horrifying) "prom-posals" in Clone High parody this concept— the students stage outlandish events (like flying in on helicopter and teaching a horse fetus to talk) just to ask girls to the prom. The winter prom.
Real Life / Truth In Television
Let's face it folks, there's plenty
of Truth in Television
examples to back this up.
- Truth in Television: Websnark.
- A man and his girlfriend were at a baseball game. Right before the seventh-inning stretch, he receives a "congratulations" text message, and then afterward a marriage proposal from him to his girlfriend lit up on the big screen. So what? Lots of people propose on those giant screens. In this case, it was a prank by a "friend" of his, who even sent the text message. The clincher? She said yes. When the man firmly denied being behind the proposal the girlfriend was understandably rather irate at the stunt. Feeling humiliated, the two began to argue back and forth. The whole thing was caught on-camera and broadcast live to the whole stadium and probably several local TV stations. This was actually part of the (on-going) prank wars at College Humor. #6 to be exact.
- Richard Garfield had a custom card made and used it to propose to his future wife in a game.
- This guy hacked a proposal inside Super Mario World.
- A man asked his girlfriend to marry him in a letter published in The Ethicist's column in The New York Times Magazine. Three weeks later, another letter appeared in the same column: "Often your readers' questions are difficult to answer. Not the one from Justin in San Francisco — Yes!"
- During an improv show at the 2010 Magfest, the performers brought up two people from the audience for one last game, where the performers would move the audience members around like mannequins/props for the scene. During the game, the performer turned the girl away from the guy while said guy got on one knee, then turned her back around. She said yes. Afterward the host admitted that, unlike the rest of the show, they had planned that in advance.
- Astronomy magazine once mentioned a magazine-sponsored trip to see a total eclipse of the sun where one man proposed to his girlfriend just as the moon had almost covered the sun, ie, during the optical effect known as "The diamond ring". According to the reporter, she said yes. Nerdy, but oh so romantic.
- This one here. A man proposes to his fiancée in the middle of fifty synchronized dancers in Washington Park.
- During Old Spice's video response campaign, @Jsbeals successfully got the Old Spice Man to ask Angela A. Hutt-Chamberlin to marry him on his behalf.
- Upon Neil Gaiman's visit and book signing in the Philippines, a fan sent an email asking if Gaiman would help him propose to his girlfriend...Video here
- On a similar note to the Super Mario World hack above: Another guy made a similar proposal by hacking a special new area into Chrono Trigger.
- Love Letters is an adorable animation short picturing a guy trying (and failing) to write the perfect love letter. When he gives up, the camera backs away to reveal the crumpled pieces of paper spell "WILL U MARRY ME?". The best part? The guy in the animation IS the animator, who used the short to propose to his girlfriend in a movie theater.
- One couple always did the Sunday crossword together, so he wrote to the New York Times Crossword, and managed to get them to put "Jenny will you marry me?" in the crossword as one of the answers.
- Comic artist Leigh Gallagher proposed with a special comic he wrote in his blog. She said yes.
- There was one story of a man who proposed to his girlfriend by.... taking her to Disneyworld and having a huge musical production put on leading up to his question.
- Following suit to the Super Mario World and Chrono Trigger proposals, one person hacked the Lumine Hall in EarthBound to propose to his girlfriend. The proposal even took place during a live stream!
- Another nerdy one took place at ComicCon by two Red vs. Blue cosplayers. In front of the Roosterteeth booth, they were performing some of the RvB skits, dressed as Tucker and Sister (who sort of had a relationship in the show). And then the guy proposed. There's even video!
- Gary Hudston commissioned professional level designers AND Ellen McLain, the voice of GLaDOS, to create a giant three stage level in Portal 2 to propose to his girlfriend.
- This news report about a guy who proposed to his girlfriend in a "job advertisment for a wife". She accepted by "applying" for the "job". Justified in that according to the guy, the girl often reads job advertisement columns.
- The various nerd conventions, anime, star trek, comic, and what have you, are basically a boiling pan of geeky social life for one full weekend. Does this happen when you get a bunch of people obsessed with various fantastical stories, half of whom dress up, in one place? You better believe it happens.
- One particular sub category of this is the masquerades. The couple will book a time slot and usually do some sort of romantic skit before the proposal at the end. One year at Conneticon, this happened twice in one night during the same masquerade (not the same skit, though).
- One couple met at a Girl Genius booth. Several years later, at the same Con, the guy set up a treasure hunt, with clues leading all over. The final clue lead the girl to the booth, where he was waiting, alone with the Foglios, for her. He proposed. She said yes.
- Dave Roman proposed to Raina Telgemeier in a comic he drew, but left unfinished. It was later posted online, with the ending drawn by Raina herself.
- Top 25 Marriage Proposals - while some of these are regular ways to propose, a certain number are certainly on the wacky side.
- A lot of these can be found on the Wedinator here.
- Timothy Tiah, one of the founders of online blog advertising community Nuffnang, proposed to his now-fiance Audrey, a fellow blogger, using internet memes on flashcards.
- During NBC's pregame show for a Thanksgiving NFL game in 1985, sideline reporter Ahmad Rashad interrupted his analysis to propose to Cosby Show star Phylicia Ayers-Allen.
- This Final Fantasy-styled proposal involving Nobuo Uematsu himself (he's not part of the couple that did the proposal, by the way). It was done during the "Distant Worlds: Music From Final Fantasy" concert in Toronto in late March 2012.
- It must be overwhelming, being proposed to and learning you live in The Matrix at the same time as seen here.
- A physicist proposed to his physicist girlfriend in the form of a scientific paper◊.
- So you're probably wondering what the deal was with this Angry Birds Friends level from the week of May 6, 2013. You see, a guy contacted Rovio Entertainment for a specially designed level to propose to his girlfriend with. Details here.