Playing With: Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe

Basic Trope: A man can't be sure of his paternity the way a mother can of her maternity, and his belief is only as good as her word.
  • Straight: Julianna goes to drink at bars in the evening, and comes back late; when she has a baby nine months later, her husband Helmut wonders whether he's the father.
  • Exaggerated: Helmut finds his wife Julianna talking to a male friend on the phone, and instantly demands of her whether any of their nine children are his.
  • Downplayed: Helmut and Julianna have a polyandrous relationship, and Charily has a few of the same characteristics as Helmut. When the baby is born, it's hard to identify the father, but neither man minds.
  • Justified: Prior to, or without, DNA testing, a man has only the woman's word and any chance resemblance to go by.
  • Inverted: Julianna wakes up after a coma, and Helmut tells her that unbeknownst to her, she had been pregnant and this is her daughter — who looks like neither of them. Julianna wonders whether she is.
  • Subverted: Helmut wonders whether he's the father. Julianna told him that he is indeed that father.
  • Double Subverted: But Helmet got suspicious, given she already said so before he asked her.
  • Parodied: Chocolate Baby, where white man Helmut asks white woman Julianna whether he's the father.
  • Zig Zagged: Helmut wonders whether the baby's his, has DNA testing done, which confirms it, learns that the lab is sloppy and doubts it again, gets a better lab to confirm, is told by Julianna that she slept with his identical twin, and learns that his twin had in fact been in jail during the time she claimed to have slept with him.
  • Averted: Julianna and Helmut are shipwrecked and the baby's born ten months later — it was not possible that any other man was the father.
  • Enforced: The setting lacks any access to DNA testing, women frequently have multiple partners, and it's not considered socially acceptable to question a mother's identification of paternity, even when there seems to be evidence to the contrary.
  • Lampshaded: ???
  • Invoked: ???
  • Exploited: Julianna becomes pregnant and gets Helmut to marry her.
  • Defied: See Subverted
  • Discussed: "Think he's the dad?"
  • Conversed: "Am I the father?"

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