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Playing With: Mandatory Motherhood
Basic Trope: A character does not want kids, but society expects her (or him) to anyway.
  • Straight: Alice's mother constantly gives her the I Want Grandkids speech. Alice has no interest in carrying, birthing, or raising children.
  • Exaggerated: Alice is getting this from everyone including her gynecologist.
  • Downplayed: While Alice's mother respects her decision in not wanting kids, she insists that "she'll change her mind".
  • Justified:
    • Alice is living After the End, and reproduction is encouraged because the world is getting to Adam and Eve Plot population levels.
    • Alice lives in a world where it's Mate or Die
    • Alice's Blueblood husband Bob needs an heir, especially a male heir
    • Alice lives in a Dystopian world where the refusal to procreate is against the law and it merits a harsh severe punishment.
    • Alice lives in a place where people follow a religion which requires followers to have children.
  • Inverted:
  • Gender Inverted: Bob does not want kids, but is expected by society to have some anyways.
  • Subverted:
    • Alice starts to ponder the possibility of having a baby.
    • Alice already has a child, and Bob discusses the possibility of having another one.
  • Double Subverted:
    • But then decides that it's not for her and probably never will be.
    • Alice and Bob decide they don't want any more children.
  • Parodied: Alice passes through the park, which is full of happy families.
  • Zig Zagged: Some are pressured to procreate, others are not.
  • Averted: Alice doesn't catch any flack for not having or wanting kids (or more kids.)
  • Enforced:
    • The author wants to continue his series, so he plans on having others pressure Alice into having a child, who will carry on the series in the near future.
    • Or, he wants to make a story where there are serious consequences in refusing to have children. In short, the author wants to scare single people straight.
  • Lampshaded: "You know, Alice, having a child is a wonderful thing, which is why you will have one."
  • Invoked:
    • "What? You don't want children? HOW DARE YOU, YOU SELFISH BITCH??!!! AREN'T YOU ASHAMED??"
    • Alice's mother, who wants grandkids, bribes and blackmails Alice's friends and neighbors into pressuring her to have kids.
  • Exploited: To have Bob to herself, Carla convinced Bob that she herself wants to bear children when Alice doesn't.
  • Defied: Alice decides she'll be childfree no matter what anyone else thinks.
  • Discussed: "I just don't think having children is for me. It's great that you have a purpose in your kids, but I don't think that's my calling."
  • Conversed: "Why does it even matter whether Alice wants kids or not?"
  • Deconstructed:
    • Alice is being pressured to do something very life-changing (and costly in terms of time, effort, and money) that she doesn't want to do.
    • Alice gives in to the pressure from her friends and family and has several children. Because she was pressured into it when she wasn't ready, Alice finds the children very burdensome and has trouble connecting with them, while her kids feel unloved and unwanted.
  • Reconstructed:
    • Alice learns not to let others tell her what to do (or not do) regarding reproduction. She shows the naysayers that she leads a happy and productive life even without children.
    • After discussing the issue with Bob, he decided to take care of the children most of the time, greatly lifting off parental burdens from Alice while she could go after her dreams.
  • Played For Laughs: "I don't want kids. Never have, never will." Gilligan Cut to Alice and Bob happily raising 10 kids.
  • Played For Drama: Alice is being taken by a Mad Scientist or evil government to be forcibly used as a Baby Factory.

You don't want children? Tough shit, you're gonna have them! Now back to Mandatory Motherhood with you!

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