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Men Don't Change Diapers

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In Hollywood, men are completety incapable of changing their childrens' diapers.

This work is a proposed Trope, Tropers can vote and offer feedback in the comments section below.
Proposed By:
Binarystep on Aug 11th 2013 at 6:56:15 PM
Last Edited By:
Pichu-kun on Dec 11th 2017 at 10:33:52 PM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: Trope

Earl: "I am not changing any more diapers!"
Fran: "Neither am I."
Baby: "This could get ugly."
Earl: "This is female's work, that's why I married a female!"
Dinosaurs, episode, "Nature Calls"

Changing diapers is no fun. Everyone knows that. But in movies, men seem to REALLY hate doing it. It seems to Squick them out to the point that they may even feel ill thinking about the subject. Typically appears in comedies.

Subtrope of Bumbling Dad and Men Can't Keep House. Related to Men Are Tough and Parenting the Husband.


Examples:

Comic Strips

  • Averted in Baby Blues, as Darryl has repeatedly changed the diapers of all three of his and Wanda's children repeatedly. One Story Arc even has him doing this at the diaper table in a shopping mall bathroom, with the other characters being surprised at him for doing so.

Film

  • Inverted in Christmas in Connecticut. Elizabeth, a single career woman, is helpless with babies, which is a problem because plot contrivances have forced her to impersonate a Housewife. Luckily, her house guest Jefferson had nieces and nephews and is a champ at diaper changing.
  • In Daddy Day Care Phil doesn't have any idea how to change his son's (who should be potty-trained at that age) diaper.
  • When the infant from Blue Sky Studios' Ice Age starts crying nonstop, his companions, all male animals, deduce that his "baby-thingie" is full. Sid the sloth is charged with changing it, since returning Bonebag to his father at Glacier Pass was his idea. It turns out the diaper was clean; the kid was actually hungry. The whole scene was Played for Laughs, of course.
  • Michael Keaton's character is like this near the beginning of Mr. Mom after he is fired and his wife finds a good job before he does. He slowly becomes more comfortable with his role as a stay-at-home dad.
  • Aversion: In the original The Parent Trap the father mentions that he used to change the girls' diapers. He expresses no disgust for it, seeing it as a bonding experience and a badge of honor for a father. And this would've been during the early fifties!

Literature

  • In Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Greg's dad despises changing Manny's diapers, but appears to be in charge of the job.
  • Averted in Loser. Zinkoff's father is said to be good about changing diapers, but he has no stomach for vomit. This is quite a problem for dealing with his son, as Zinkoff was born with a faulty stomach pump and thus frequently vomits.

Live-Action TV

  • Averted by patriarch Archie Bunker from All in the Family when he had sole charge of his grandson Joey in one episode. Deducing that Joey needed a change, Archie undertook the task, talking himself through the procedure. Archie's work was competent, though there was the laughable part of dropping the used diaper in a wastecan, then adding ornamental flowers blooms downward as a makeshift deodorizer.
  • Discussed in CSI NY when Danny and Lindsay ask Mac to be Lucy's godfather.
    Danny: Godfather, you know that's the code word for diaper changer.
  • In the very first episode of Full House, Joey and Uncle Jesse have no clue how to change baby Michelle's diaper. They go to such ridiculous lengths as using the sink to clean her off and wrapping her in paper towels before Stephanie shows them where the diapers are (They didn't ask).
  • Averted by Kelso in That '70s Show, in one episode he and the woman carrying his child are at a parenting class and she was rather inept at changing the dummy baby's diaper, but Kelso had experience changing his little brothers.
  • Yes, Dear:
    • At the beginning of the episode, "Weaning Isn't Everything", when Kim asks Greg to change Sammy's diaper, Greg volunteers, but then starts asking Kim lots of questions on how to do it. This gets Kim to change her mind. As soon as she's out of the room, it is revealed that Greg was following Jimmy's advice on how to get Kim to do things for him so he can relax.
    • In the episode, "Who's On First?", we get this conversation between Greg and Kim when they decide to start potty-training Sammy:
    Greg: "Let's do it, let's start potty training him. I don't want him to get a late start. Besides, I hate changing those diapers anyway."
    Kim: "Please. When was the last time you changed a diaper?"
    Greg: "I do more than my fair share around here."
    Kim: "You do the bare minimum to keep from getting yelled at."
    Greg: "I think we're saying the same thing."

Webcomics

Western Animation

  • In the Adventures in Odyssey video series, Eugene freaks out at the prospect of having to change a dirty diaper. Connie winds up doing it instead.
  • The public domain cartoon "All's Well" from 1941 by Fleischer Studios has Gabby encounter a crying baby and attempt to diaper it. The Fool ends up diapering himself.
  • Played with in the Tom and Jerry cartoon "Baby Puss" from 1943, which has alley cat Butch change Tom's diaper as part of a Humiliation Conga. Butch seems to know the mechanics of diaper changing, though Doctor Spock might take issue with Butch's use of "sedatives" (a club to the head) and jabbing the safety pin bone deep in Tom's butt.
  • Played with in the Merrie Melodies cartoon "A Mouse Divided", wherein a drunken stork delivers a baby mouse to Sylvester's wife. Sylvester runs the drill like a pro, though he uses black pepper instead of talcum powder, olive oil in place of baby oil, and romaine lettuce instead of a diaper. Placing the baby between two slices of bread, however, almost crosses the Moral Event Horizon.
  • Inverted in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Baby Cakes." Carrot Cake is very adept at changing his foals' diapers, even though he has to use his mouth since he's an Earth pony.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Make Room for Lisa" as Marge is talking to Lisa about her tummy ache, Homer carries in baby Maggie.
    Homer: [singsong falsetto] Somebody wants Mommy to change baby's diaper.
    Marge: Is that somebody you, Homer?
    Homer: [nodding Maggie's head] Yes it is.
    • In The War of the Simpsons, when Homer and Marge are at a marriage retreat at Catfish Lake, one of the many flaws about Homer that Marge tells the group is that he never changes Maggie.

Real Life

Feedback: 37 replies

Aug 11th 2013 at 10:40:41 PM

Over on Paedo Hunt it's mentioned that some fathers refuse to change their own babies for this reason, as it involves a man being within thirty feet of a naked baby. Cue Torches And Pitchforks.

Aug 27th 2013 at 4:31:26 PM

Here's the quote I have for this article:

Earl: "I am not changing any more diapers!"
Fran: "Neither am I."
Baby: "This could get ugly."
Earl: "This is female's work, that's why I married a female!"
--Dinosaurs, episode, "Nature Calls"

As well as an example from where it orignated:

  • Fran Sinclair from Dinosaurs has changed every diaper in the house for the past 15 years, and in the episode, "Nature Calls", she gets Earl to change Baby's diaper for the first time. Earl finds the experience horrible and says it's female's work and the very reason why he married Fran.

Aug 27th 2013 at 5:29:41 PM

  • In Diary Of A Wimpy Kid, Greg's dad despises changing Manny's diapers, but appears to be in charge of the job..

Aug 27th 2013 at 7:08:42 PM

  • In Daddy Day Care Phil doesn't have any idea how to change his son's (who should be potty-trained at that age) diaper.
  • Averted by Kelso in That Seventies Show, in one episode he and the woman carrying his child are at a parenting class and she was rather inept at changing the dummy baby's diaper, but Kelso had experience changing his little brothers.

Aug 27th 2013 at 7:43:48 PM

Discussed in CSI NY when Danny and Lindsay ask Mac to be Lucy's godfather.

Danny: Godfather,you know that's the code word for diaper changer.

Er, it may count, not sure.

Dec 24th 2014 at 5:11:45 PM

Wow, I forgot this existed.

Dec 24th 2014 at 7:48:53 PM

Webcomics

Dec 24th 2014 at 11:01:18 PM

  • In the very first episode of Full House, Joey and Uncle Jesse have no clue how to change baby Michelle's diaper. They go to such ridiculous lengths as using the sink to clean her off and wrapping her in paper towels before Stephanie shows them where the diapers are (They didn't ask).

Dec 25th 2014 at 5:52:51 AM

Film

  • Inverted in Christmas In Connecticut. Elizabeth, a single career woman, is helpless with babies, which is a problem because plot contrivances have forced her to impersonate a Housewife. Luckily, her house guest Jefferson had nieces and nephews and is a champ at diaper changing.

Dec 28th 2014 at 1:50:52 PM

I can't count the number of public places I've been in that have a diaper changing table in the womens' restroom but not in the mens'. (Though this is starting to change.)

Dec 28th 2014 at 1:55:01 PM

Dec 31st 2014 at 6:03:38 PM

The Simpsons: In "Make Room for Lisa" as Marge is talking to Lisa about her tummyache, Homer carries in baby Maggie.

Homer: [singsong falsetto] Somebody wants Mommy to change baby's diaper.
Marge: Is that somebody you, Homer?
Homer: [nodding Maggie's head] Yes it is.

Dec 31st 2014 at 6:10:09 PM

  • Averted in Loser. Zinkoff's father is said to be good about changing diapers, but he has no stomach for vomit. This is quite a problem for dealing with his son, as Zinkoff was born with a faulty stomach pump and thus frequently vomits.

Jan 4th 2015 at 1:27:57 PM

  • Averted in Baby Blues, as Darryl has repeatedly changed the diapers of all three of his and Wanda's children repeatedly. One Story Arc even has him doing this at the diaper table in a shopping mall bathroom, with the other characters being surprised at him for doing so.

Jan 23rd 2015 at 11:47:11 AM

Live Action TV

  • Yes Dear:
    • At the beginning of the episode, "Weaning Isn't Everything", when Kim asks Greg to change Sammy's diaper, Greg volunteers, but then starts asking Kim lots of questions on how to do it. This gets Kim to change her mind. As soon as she's out of the room, it is revealed that Greg was following Jimmy's advice on how to get Kim to do things for him so he can relax.
    • In the episode, "Who's On First?", we get this conversation between Greg and Kim when they decide to start potty-training Sammy:
    Greg: "Let's do it, let's start potty training him. I don't want him to get a late start. Besides, I hate changing those diapers anyway."
    Kim: "Please. When was the last time you changed a diaper?"
    Greg: "I do more than my fair share around here."
    Kim: "You do the bare minimum to keep from getting yelled at."
    Greg: "I think we're saying the same thing."

Jan 31st 2015 at 1:02:38 PM

  • Family Guy: In "Breaking Out is Hard to Do" when Lois is in prison, Stewie's diaper looks like it hasn't been changed in about a month.
    Peter... Peter... there's, there's so much doodie in here... I can't take it anymore. I haven't eaten in four days, 'cause I, 'cause I just can't fit anymore in there. Help me!
  • In another Simpsons "Marge In Chains" while Marge is in prison Homer plans for baby Maggie to go commando note  in the yard and let nature take its course.

Jan 31st 2015 at 5:33:12 PM

Western Animation

  • The public domain cartoon "All's Well" from 1941 by Fleischer Studios has Gabby encounter a crying baby and attempt to diaper it. The Fool ends up diapering himself.

Live Action TV

  • Averted by patriarch Archie Bunker from All In The Family when he had sole charge of his grandson Stanley in one episode. Deducing that Stanley needed a change, Archie undertook the task, talking himself through the procedure. Archie's work was competent, though there was the laughable part of dropping the used diaper in a wastecan, then adding ornamental flowers blooms downward as a makeshift deodorizer.

Feb 1st 2015 at 2:32:14 PM

  • Michael Keaton's character is like this near the beginning of Mr Mom after he is fired and his wife finds a good job before he does. He slowly becomes more comfortable with his role as a stay-at-home dad.

Feb 1st 2015 at 4:16:06 PM

^^Wan't his grandson Joey?

Feb 1st 2015 at 4:50:25 PM

^ I remember a fervent discussion about the grandson-to-be's name between Archie and Mike. Mike wanted Stanilaus, which Archie abhored. Mike argued that other kids would call him Stanley or Stan; Archie, a pure New Yorker, insisted he'd be called Louse.

Feb 1st 2015 at 9:50:17 PM

"Subtrope of Men Are Tough. Related to Men Can't Keep House,"

Strongly disagree - subtrope of Men Cant Keep House (to the point where this trope may be unnecessary, simply add these as examples under that one) and related to Men Are Tough.

Feb 2nd 2015 at 12:06:28 PM

^^Mike was going to name his son after the two grandfathers - Archibald and Stanislaus - with Stanislaus coming first. Archie questioned why his name should be second and Mike said that if it was Archibald Stanislaus Stivic then his initals would be ASS. Joseph was a comprimise.

Also, see his page on the other wiki.

Feb 6th 2015 at 6:00:57 PM

Launching tonight if no one objects.

Feb 6th 2015 at 6:31:21 PM

^ Your hats object with you, they say that they need 4 more of their friends.

Feb 6th 2015 at 10:22:53 PM

Western Animation

  • Played with in the Tom And Jerry cartoon "Baby Puss" from 1943, which has alley cat Butch change Tom's diaper as part of a Humiliation Conga. Butch seems to know the mechanics of diaper changing, though Doctor Spock might take issue with Butch's use of "sedatives" (a club to the head) and jabbing the safety pin bone deep in Tom's butt.

  • Played with in the Merrie Melodies cartoon "A Mouse Divided", wherein a drunken stork delivers a baby mouse to Sylvester's wife. Sylvester runs the drill like a pro, though he uses black pepper instead of talcum powder, olive oil in place of baby oil, and romaine lettuce instead of a diaper. Placing the baby between two slices of bread, however, almost crosses the Moral Event Horizon.

Feb 9th 2015 at 8:12:00 AM

  • Inverted in the My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic episode "Baby Cakes." Carrot Cake is very adept at changing his foals' diapers, even though he has to use his mouth since he's an Earth pony.

Feb 9th 2015 at 9:23:38 PM

Western Animation

  • When the infant Bonebag from Blue Sky Studios' Ice Age starts crying nonstop, his companions, all male animals, deduce that his "baby-thingie" is full. Sid the sloth is charged with changing it, since returning Bonebag to his father at Glacier Pass was his idea. It turns out the diaper was clean; the kid was actually hungry. The whole scene was Played For Laughs, of course.

Mar 13th 2015 at 1:34:14 AM

It Should be a subtrope of Bumbling Dad as well.

Jul 19th 2015 at 7:03:47 PM

In the Adventures In Odyssey video series, Eugene freaks out at the prospect of having to change a dirty diaper. Connie winds up doing it instead.

Jul 20th 2015 at 5:39:30 AM

In the original The Parent Trap the father mentions that he used to change the girls' diapers. He expresses no disgust for it, seeing it as a bonding experience and a badge of honor for a father. And this would've been during the early fifties!

Dec 31st 2015 at 8:23:02 PM

Western Animation

  • Another The Simpsons example:
    • In The War of the Simpsons, when Homer and Marge are at a marriage retreat at Catfish Lake, one of the many flaws about Homer that Marge tells the group is that he never changes Maggie.

Jan 1st 2016 at 4:12:58 PM

^ Agreed, this principle is covered by The Diaper Change. Motion to fold these examples into the Master Trope, and discard this splintered duplicate.

Feb 26th 2016 at 2:23:27 PM

^The Diaper Change is way more broad than this, and seems to just be "anyone changing a diaper at all". This is a specific variant.

Feb 12th 2017 at 6:24:02 AM

Live Action TV

  • Another Yes Dear example involving Greg: In a flashback in the episode, "One Fish, Two Fish, Dead Fish, Blue Fish", Greg refuses to change Sammy's diaper for Kim, claiming he is exhausted from working all day. It doesn't work when Kim tells him that she's tired from taking care of Sammy, cleaning the house, and making dinner, and needs Greg to change Sammy's diaper while she does the laundry. Greg makes the mistake of telling Kim that changing Sammy's diaper is her job.

Nov 2nd 2017 at 7:56:29 AM

Western Animation

  • Zig-zagged in the Sonic Boom episode, "Three Men and My Baby!"; Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles accidentally injure Lady Walrus, and volunteer to babysit her infant son, Chumley, until she's healed. When it comes time to change Chumley's diaper, Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles try to talk Amy into doing it for them, but she outright refuses, and insists they do it themselves. They all do so themselves, dressed in space suits.

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