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Bart: Mr. Smithers? I thought you were, you know — uh.
Smithers: Haha, no, I'm straight — as long as I take these injections every ten minutes. [injects himself] I LOVE BOOBIES!

The occurrence in fiction of effecting a cure for, or attempting to cure, homosexuality.

Whether the homosexual character being "cured" is male or female and how they're cured, depends more on when the work was written than on anything else. Before about 1970 (and dating so far back that it's Older Than Steam) lesbianism was thought of not as an active attraction to women but as a neurotic, unhealthy rejection of men or even of sex entirely ("sex" at the time being thought of as all about men). For this reason, a lot of "cures" involved the woman finding a good man, or even a bad one (in that a lot of times the "cures" for lesbians were basically rape). Gay men's homosexuality was seen as a deeper-rooted psychological problem, often due to supposedly over-indulgent mothers (a popular cause for all sorts of ills at the time). It's only in the past 30-40 years that the idea of male and female homosexuality having a similar cause and "cure" has come about and been shown in media.

There are many variations on this theme, ranging from outright genetic reprogramming to just having sex with a member of the opposite sex. May draw on the Rape and Switch trope, in which homosexuality is a defense mechanism triggered by unwanted (and unpleasant) sexual contact.

Can be Truth in Television if the trope is merely alluded to, such as a homophobic character ''mentioning'' it as a possible response to a gay or lesbian character's sexuality, or to a transgender or non-binary character, or if an LGBT person tries it but fails. Can be inverted, commonly in erotica and erotic Fan Fiction, to have a character be "cured" of heterosexuality.

Once quite common, this trope is increasingly becoming a discredited one due to homosexuals, in general, being moved to the realm of formerly acceptable targets as well as some cathartic backlash against the once common idea of "curing" homosexuality. There is also the growing body of research showing that homosexuality is likely to have a biological cause, and attempts to "cure" it with psychotherapy or other non-medical techniques are not only usually ineffective but can often be dangerous, and the rejection of this trope by all major medical and psychological organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association. Especially as it can raise the suicide rate of its 'patients' up to 10 times the population average. It is now illegal to subject minors to this in California, with other states following suit; additionally, conversion therapy has been found to be a violation of state consumer-protection laws (essentially, false advertising/fraud, or in trope terms, it's pure snake oil) in New Jersey (following a 2015 verdict), which likely portends similar findings elsewhere in the US at least (most states' consumer protection laws are worded very similarly). It's also illegal to subject minors to or advertise in Canada.

Does not include gay characters who turn out to have been bisexual all along (that is, they still find the same sex attractive, but are now in a relationship with a member of the opposite sex). Nor does it include If It's You, It's Okay. Nor does it include turning a gay character straight with no in-story explanation at all.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Beautiful Skies of Houou High is a manga about a girl who likes girls. But all her girlfriends break up with her because they're both girls, even though they love each other. So her mother sends her to an All-Boys School to "cure" her... Digital Manga Publishing dropped the English release after 1 volume due to the Values Dissonance.
  • Ranma ˝: Tsubasa Kurenai is introduced as a Psycho Lesbian virulently rejecting any interest in men and stalking any girl that shows the slightest bit of kindness, including Ukyo, Akane, and girl Ranma. Ranma and Akane spend the whole time telling Tsubasa her problem is that she needs to get a boyfriend instead. Ranma tries inviting her on a date as a girl but then coming as a guy, which Akane objects to simply because he's too inept to pull it off (and would give Ranma another unwanted suitor if it did). The "resolution" is revealing Tsubasa isn't a vocally-homosexual girl, but a vocally-heterosexual crossdressing boy. Oddly, Ukyo assumed Tsubasa was a gay guy (she knew Tsubasa was male, but not that he knew Ukyo was a girl) and didn't have any problem with it.
  • Discussed in Sekirei, and played for comedy. Benitsubasa states that her "pure love" and awesome boobs will cure Natsuo and make him fall in love with her. It obviously isn't going to happen, and Natsuo's other Sekirei realize and respect his true sexuality and lampshade how completely stupid this plan is.

    Comic Books 
  • The "Godhead" arc of Robbie Morrison's run of The Authority had John Clay, leader of the religious movement called the Church of Transcendence, attempt to cure Apollo and Midnighter of their homosexuality. His efforts don't do a thing, as Midnighter manages to endure the torture sessions before Swift comes to his rescue and Apollo ultimately softens Clay up in time to be killed by the Doctor.
  • Occurs very commonly in Chick Tracts. According to him, demons possess a child when he's molested and turn him gay. Fortunately, just by accepting Jesus as your savior, you exorcise those demons and immediately stop being gay.
  • Hilariously subverted in this Justice Society of America issue.note 
    Stargirl: How do you feel, Todd?
    Obsidian: Pretty good, all things considered. Wonderful, in fact. I'm as powerful as ever. No discernible side effects of my disability, except that I'm no longer gay, of course.
    Green Lantern: Son?
    Obsidian: That's right, dad! I'm cured! Isn't that great!
    [The cast exchanges looks of bewilderment]
    Obsidian: Relax folks. Only kidding. Still gay. Seriously, I wish you could all see your faces right now.
  • Parodied in Swamp Thing Vol. 2 #165, an out-of-continuity Satire on mid-nineties American conservatism. As part of his pendulum shift from hippiedom, Chester Williams instantly undoes his ex-girlfriend's lesbianism with a single kiss. Cue Match Cut to the two of them kissing at their wedding.
  • X-Men never had to deal with this... literally, anyway. Mutants are sometimes used as a metaphor for homosexuality, and there have been a number of storylines where someone tries to cure the mutant gene, which almost always backfires. Emma Frost discusses this trope with a scientist.
    Emma: What's next, a cure for the gay gene?
    Scientist: Homosexuality isn't a threat to the human race.
    Emma: We are clearly watching different televangelists.

    Fan Works 
  • Cassandra spends about half of Angel of the Bat: Times of Heresy trying to do this to herself. After a rough breakup with her girlfriend stacked on top of her other recent struggles, Cassandra tries to retreat into her Catholic faith to cleanse herself of her leftover feelings. It doesn't work, and the whole story is outright critical of the idea.
  • The Harry Potter Crack Fic Becoming Female features a subplot in which Hagrid comes out as gay, something which had apparently been "obvious for a long time". Sometime later, Cornelius Fudge turns out to be "homophobic", causing him to send Hagrid and Dumbledore to a "degayification camp". The protagonists rush to the "degayification camp" to rescue them since Hagrid and Dumbledore would "lose all their powers if they become straight".
  • In the later chapters of Bringing Me to Life there's Gabriel Jameson who tries to 'cure' his teenage son, Max, of being gay by abusing him. This started in Kindergarten - before Max'd even come out, before he'd even realized it, because his dad still goes by the 'rule' that a boy that starts baking, even if your Grandmom helps, makes you 'turn' gay. Thankfully, it doesn't work at all.
  • Mercilessly parodied in one Harry Potter fanfiction, in which it turns out that half the girls of Hogwarts have tried it on Colin Creevey whenever they found him sad by having sex with him, completely ignoring his protests that he's actually hetero (and in one case had actually just been dumped by his girlfriend via letter). Turns out the only reason he takes so many pictures of Harry (for whom he admits he has quite the hero worship) is that the girls are willing to pay a lot for them...
  • ''If I Were a Christian'' is a The Loud House fanfic that deals with this happening to the canonically-bisexual Luna, portraying her girlfriend Sam as a vicious chick that hooks Luna on cocaine.
  • Resonance Days inverts this; as a consequence of girls in the afterlife being made into hormone-less Energy Beings, they can switch orientations if they want to, and since they are surrounded by other girls, they very often become gay.
  • When Weiss comes out to her father Jacques in RWBY: Scars, he dismisses it as a teenage phase and says that marrying his much older friend can "fix" Weiss. Weiss and her mother Willow are horrified at the idea.
  • In the infamous Supper Smash Bros: Mishonh From God, creating a vaccine for homosexuality and using it to force a Heel–Face Turn on the gay smashers is one of the protagonist's major goals. It's also inverted; there's a government vaccine that was responsible for turning Samus and Captain Falcon gay in the first place.
  • Lady Vivian in Merlin Crack Fic A Very Hairy Situation She's an anomaly in a story that uses Cure Your Straights as a plot device.
  • In The Hobbit fanfic Why Male Dwarves can get Pregnant, this trope is played with. Bilbo has a crush on Thorin, believing both of them to be male, and keeps silent about it, fearing homophobia. Then it is revealed that dwarves have three genders, and Thorin is bigender. Bilbo then begins a quest for his own gender identity and finds out he is also bigender, which is fortunate, as Thorin also had a crush on Bilbo, but according to dwarven law, bigender people can only be in relationships with other bigender people; which was why Thorin never dared to say anything.

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live Action 
  • ABCs of Death 2: In "J is Jesus", a wealthy businessman hires a team to kidnap his gay son and exorcise the gayness out of him.
  • Boy Erased is an adaptation of a memoir of a man subjected to conversion therapy. Needless to say, it was a terrible time.
  • Brüno (2009). The title character (played by Sasha Baron Cohen) attempts to go straight with the help of a man who specialized in "curing" gay men. He ends up going hunting and to an orgy.
  • But I'm a Cheerleader, a film about a summer camp attempting to cure teenagers of their homosexuality. It fails miserably.
  • By Hook or By Crook: Val's parents sent him to a mental institution when he was 13, for "wearing boy's clothes". It didn't work, of course; he continues to present as male and has a romantic relationship with a woman, Billie.
  • Carmen y Lola: After he learns Lola is involved with Carmen, her father drags her to church and prays with the pastor to have God "heal" her of the "unnatural sickness" she has. It doesn't work, of course.
  • In Carol, the titular character mentions going to see a therapist to try to fix her "moral problem." She does it mostly to attempt to get to see her child and presumably quits after admitting that her affair with Therese was something she wanted.
  • Chasing Amy. Appears to be about this, with Holden "curing" Alyssa of her lesbianism — however, it turns out that she was bisexual all along. She identified as a lesbian for a long time, but she had been involved with a number of men in the past. When Holden finds out that he didn't magically make her switch teams, he doesn't take it well.
  • The film A Different Story is of a gay man and a lesbian moving in together and both suddenly stop being gay and fall in love with each other.
  • Dope: Diggy's family tries to cure her lesbianism through prayer every Sunday at their church. As the narrator relates this we see her in the middle of a prayer circle (the only time she's wearing feminine clothing) looking bored then checking out an attractive woman nearby. She jokes that maybe it worked due to being turned on by seeing Justin Bieber.
  • One storyline in Far from Heaven involves Frank trying to "cure" his homosexuality after his wife Cathy catches him making out with a male coworker. Frank attends aversion therapy with a psychiatrist, but quits after a few sessions and has another fling (that eventually becomes a serious relationship) while vacationing in Florida.
  • John Waters' Female Trouble. Inverted, in which Aunt Ida begs her son Gator to "turn nelly", even trying to set him up on dates with flamboyantly gay men.
    Aunt Ida: The world of the heterosexual is a sick and boring life!
  • Gigli. Ben Affleck is a cure for lesbianism, it seems.
  • Goldfinger. James Bond rapes the lesbianism right out of Pussy Galore. This is taken straight from the novel, where it's somehow even less subtle.
  • Horrifically subverted (and sadly Truth in Television) in The Imitation Game when Alan Turing is put on hormone therapy, "chemical castration", after being arrested for indecency.
  • The main character of In & Out tries to do this with a Self-Help tape. He proceeds to fail abysmally when he can't resist the urge to dance to "I Will Survive" despite the tape screaming at him to stop.
  • Aaron is sent to a camp to cure his gayness in Latter Days. Not only does it predictably not work, but it's also there that he hears the song Christian's friend has made using his diary and realizes Christian loves him, giving him the strength to run away from there.
  • In Maurice, the title character goes to an American hypnotist to cure his homosexuality. Somewhat subverted since the hypnotist is the most reaffirming character in the film, giving up and suggesting Maurice emigrate to a country more accepting of homosexuality.
  • Mentioned in passing in Miller's Crossing, where a gay character says his sister came on to him to try to cure him. Given how trustworthy the speaker is, it's hard to say if he's telling the truth.
  • The Miseducation of Cameron Post is about the titular high school girl who gets sent to a camp called "God's Promise" after being caught by her guardians on prom night with the prom queen. It ends with her and several friends escaping the camp.
  • Pillow Talk. Brad feigns being gay to attract Jan, to try to get her to "cure" him. The ironic subtext was that Brad was played by Rock Hudson, who even played this scene at parties for friends who knew he was gay.
  • In Prayers for Bobby, Mary's efforts to cure her son Bobby's homosexuality drive him to suicide. Mary realizes that God didn't cure Bobby because there was nothing wrong with him in the first place and she becomes a gay rights activist.
  • A disturbing example in the film Savage Grace, where a mother attempts to cure her son of his homosexuality by sleeping with him.
  • Saved!. After a devout Christian teenager learns that her boyfriend is gay, she sleeps with him in order to cure him. It doesn't work. Then the boy's parents find out and send him to an institution with the intention of curing him, where he stays for most of the movie. And then turns up at prom with a boyfriend who was his roommate at the institution.
  • SAVE ME centers around a drug-addicted gay man who enters an ex-gay program at the request of his Catholic family shortly after an accidental overdose. Oddly, the ex-gay program itself is shown in a sympathetic light, with the two camp runners being portrayed as well-intentioned but woefully misguided and ultimately damaging. They started the camp after their gay son committed suicide.
  • The TV movie Senior Trip features sensitive artist Jon. On a class trip to New York City, he meets an older male artist who is presented in a predatory manner, while Jon, traumatized by his desire for men, cowers in his presence. After managing to leave, Jon comes across a Hooker with a Heart of Gold and tells her he had to see if he would be able to have sex with a woman. After they do, he feels more at peace.
  • They/Them (2022): The center of the plot, as the cast are residents and staff of a conversion therapy camp for LGBT+ youth. "Conversion" methods range from trying to have them act out in gender normative ways to brutal aversion therapy via Electric Torture.
  • Trapped: The Alex Cooper Story: The whole plot. When Alex comes out to her parents (who are fundamentalist Mormons), the first thing they do is send her to a gay conversion therapy prison.
  • In the 1981 Marathi film Umbartha, Smita Patil gets a job as director of a reformatory for wayward women. When some of the inmates discover that two women are in a lesbian relationship, violent homophobia erupts and they want to lynch the lesbians. Smita's character, intended to represent the voice of reason, lectures them that gays are not evil and depraved, they are merely mentally ill, and they need treatment to cure them instead of punishing them. In India of 1981, this is what passed for a modern enlightened view: presenting "cure your gays" as the compassionate alternative to lynching. Even that was too progressive for the lesbians in the movie themselves, who immediately committed suicide.
  • Velvet Goldmine. Teenage Curt Wilde is given shock treatments by his parents to cure him (based on the Real Life experiences of Lou Reed).
    The doctors said the treatment would "fry the fairy clean out of him". But all it did was make him bonkers — every time he heard an electric guitar...

  • Annie on My Mind: Mrs. Poindexter, Ms. Baxter, and Sally urge Liza to go see a psychiatrist and be "cured". Liza refuses this idea without hesitation.
  • In Blackbird (1986), Randy tries to do this to himself, and later his mother and Pastor Crandall try to drive the homosexuality out of him, all without success.
  • The Black Magician Trilogy:
    • A character has struggled against rumors about being gay which have ruined his reputation (in his home country at least - others are more open). Eventually, when he is completely out of mana it turns out that he was gay, but he blocked out the memories and has been reflexively using Healing magic to block any sexual impulse for years. The gay man he had been traveling with had already figured it out but didn't want to say anything, and they end up becoming a couple.
    • It's a bit better than the regular cases, since the man IS gay, but had tried to 'cure' himself, due to the great social stigma attached to it in his home country. It sort of works, since he forces himself — with magic — not to think sexual thoughts because he doesn't want to admit that he is gay. So it is sort of an inversion of the trope. Since it is a curing that fails. Sort of.
    • This is essentially what a particularly Armored Closet Gay goes through, aided by magic. If a repressed homosexual had access to magic, this is what they would do. A 'cure' for homosexuality would not result in a functionally asexual person, but a heterosexual person, because the kind of people who think that homosexuality is a disease that needs to be cured are generally not going to accept asexual identities, either. The situation described above is not a cure, but merely good ol' repression, magically enhanced.
  • In The Child Garden by Geoff Ryman, there is an actual CURE for being gay, and everyone gets it along with the cures for everything else. It's implied to be highly imperfect, though - while receiving it switches Rolfa's attraction towards women for one towards men, the men she tries to proposition feel absolutely zero sexual chemistry with her beforehand and so are surprised and unnerved by her advances.
  • In the short story The Crooked Man by Charles Beaumont, Jesse and Mina are a straight couple meeting in secret in a future where gay couples are the norm and politicians rail against heterosexuals. At the conclusion, they are caught by the vice squad and get taken away to be cured (Jesse forcibly; Mina has accepted it and decides it would be better than going underground).
  • In the dystopia in the Delirium Series, love is considered a disease. All people are required to have surgery to cure them of love at the age of 18. If two "uncureds" of the opposite sex fall in love and get involved with each other, they're merely considered to have "amor deliria nervosa" and it's bad because it's considered an unnatural version of the usual husband-wife relationships. If the two "uncureds" are of the same sex, though, their behavior is labeled as "Unnaturalism." After the surgery, everyone is forced into heterosexual bureaucratically arranged marriages.
  • In Dante's 1320 epic The Divine Comedy, the seventh terrace of Purgatory features homosexual men singing in harmony with the heterosexual lustful as they all purify their sexualities corrupted by the Fall.
  • Inverted in The Forever War, in the 24th-century homosexuality is mandatory (as Population Control) and heterosexuality is considered a mental disorder that is easily cured. Though it doesn't work on oldtimers like Mandella. Though at the end in the 31st century, sexuality becomes a moot point on earth as it's now a Hive Mind of clones. But some of Mandella's surviving troops decide to become straight and join colonies of old-fashioned humans.
  • Genome by Sergey Lukyanenko describes a world where most people are genetically specialized for some profession (be it janitor, pilot, geisha, executioner...). Many are also programmed to love their professions. Pak, a non-specialized secondary characternote  drinks an experimental drug that suppresses genetic predisposition to anything. Several hours later we see him experimenting with a woman for the first time in his life. The inventor of the drug predicts that if this becomes a habit, Pak would stay bi when the drug wears off in a few weeks. Note that the effect is completely unintentional as in this world any sexuality is perfectly OK.
  • As with the film based on it, in Goldfinger, James Bond cures Pussy Galore of being a lesbian by raping her after she confesses to him that she was raped by an older male relative as a teenager. Yeah.
  • This trope is briefly invoked in Good in Bed, by Cannie and her siblings following their mother coming out of the closet. However, it's shown to be less specific about disgust with lesbianism and more of a desire to regain their old life, without her rather surly life partner involved.
  • I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream has one of the human characters had once been a homosexual, but after so many years of torture from AM, he now has sex with Ellen, the only female of the group. Also became a monstrous gorilla thing. This is a case where this clearly isn't supposed to be seen as a good thing and may, in fact, count as some form of dark social satire since it was published in 1967 when attempts at 'curing' gay men of their homosexuality were pretty much the norm. It might also be a subversion since Benny's attraction to men was only "cured" by physically rearranging his body and breaking his mind, and the act of giving him his freakish, overly endowed body and changing his sexuality is considered a torture in and of itself. Given that this is written by Harlan Ellison®, we can probably go with subversion.
  • Indecent Exposure: Dr von Blimenstein is convinced that a combination of electric shocks, strong emetics, and aversion therapy can cure anything. She gets a chance to test this and applies it first to policemen sexually attracted to black womennote , and then on gays.
  • In Julian Comstock, Adam (who is straight) manages to take advantage of this:
    On more than one occasion his [Julian's] female acquaintances—sophisticated girls of my own age, or older—made the assumption that I was Julian's intimate companion, in a physical sense. Whereupon they undertook to cure me of my deviant habits, in the most direct fashion. I was happy to cooperate with these "cures," and they were successful every time.
  • The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali: Rukhsana's parents become convinced she's possessed by a djinn that made her attracted to girls and defy them. They hire an exorcist called a djinn-catcher, but of course the odd "exorcism" fails.
  • In Love Drugged by James Klise, the main character attempts to cure his own homosexuality by taking an experimental pill that claims to be able to remove homosexual urges, even though it's currently untested and the side effects include nausea, rage problems, and blinding headaches. It doesn't quite work as he hoped, however - the pills only help with diminishing his homosexual urges, but don't create heterosexual urges in their place, leaving him basically desexualized, angry, and in pain.
  • In E.M. Forster's Maurice, the title character goes to a hypnotist to try to change. Doesn't work.
  • In Adam Silvera's More Happy Than Not, Aaron falls in love with his new friend Thomas despite having a girlfriend and decides to undergo an Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind-like memory erasure procedure to get rid of his feelings for Thomas. Before he does, however, a traumatic event causes him to remember that he already underwent this procedure in the past to forget another boy after their relationship caused him to be on the receiving end of brutal homophobia — a procedure that obviously didn't actually cure him of his homosexuality. He ultimately decides to not undergo the procedure a second time.
  • In Oracle by Greg Egan, an alternate universe Alan Turing is locked in a punishingly cramped cage by the secret service in an attempt to cure him of his homosexuality. The No Historical Figures Were Harmed version of Turing notices the Anviliciousness of the situation:
    Quint was silent for a moment, then he replied with a tone of thoughtful sympathy. "It's unnatural, isn't it? Living like this: bent over, twisted, day after day. Living in an unnatural way is always going to harm you. I'm glad you can finally see that."
    Robert was tired; it took several seconds for the meaning to sink in. It was that crude, that obvious? They'd locked him in this cage, for all this time ... as a kind of ham-fisted metaphor for his crimes?
    • His short story "Cocoon" also has the eponymous treatment for pregnant women that inadvertently prevent gay-making hormones from reaching the baby.
  • Defied in Patience and Sarah. Patience's brother Edward asks if she's tried to pray for her feelings for Sarah to go away, but Patience notes she doesn't want to be "freed" of her feelings. She's instead prayed to be "fulfilled in it".
  • Pops up in Pretty Little Liars. In the third book, Emily is outed by "A" and as a result, her parents make her take part in a program called "Little Miss Treetops" in order to "cure" her (Emily only reluctantly agrees to take part after her mother threatens to send her off to her horribly stuck up and stuffy Amish relatives if she doesn't). Suffice to say this fails miserably when Emily and her peer mentor Becka decide to go skating and they run into Becka's ex, Wendy. Emily excuses herself to go to the washroom, only to find Becka and Wendy making out when she returns, prompting Becka to admit that there really isn't a cure for being gay. This convinces Emily not to take part in the program. THEN Emily's parents, upset with her for not trying to "cure" herself, try again by sending her to the aforementioned Amish relatives but this also fails when Emily runs away. Fortunately, Emily's parents and siblings do become more accepting of her sexuality in later books.
  • In Pat Barker's The Eye In The Door from The Regeneration Trilogy, some members of the British parliament see gays as a threat to society, and there's a lot of talk about curing homosexuality through therapy—it's a constant threat in the background, although it's never tried on any of the main characters.
  • In the world of Replica, homosexuality is a tricky situation. It is considered acceptable for the two lower classes (Employees and the Basement) to express themselves in such a way. The powerful Executive class forbids it and any Executive who identifies as such are sent to a special place for reprogramming.
  • Inverted in Chris Moriarty's novel Spin Control. The Syndicates try to genetically program their Artificial Humans to all be gay, but the novel posits something called the "Six Percent Rule": i.e. no matter how hard you work to make people have one sexuality, at least six percent are always going to break away from it. This causes problems when aliens interfere with a Syndicate colony's Fantastic Contraception, causing a bisexual male's affair with a female to result in a Surprise Pregnancy.
  • Jess' parents in Stone Butch Blues caught her wearing her father's clothes when she was a young teen and admitted her to a psych ward until she lied her way out of there. This narrative is also part of what makes the rapist policemen so insidious.
  • Surrender Your Sons is a thriller young adult novel that is primarily set in a conversation camp tucked away in Costa Rica; the main character is taken by force there by the camp's staff in a setup arranged by his mother.
  • Victoria features a war between Azania, a technologically advanced Lady Land of lesbian Amazons, and the Northern Confederation, a reactionary and borderline theocratic far-right Christian state. Both sides naturally hate each other with a passion and fight a virtual war of extermination, but it is the Confederation that is eventually victorious. They institute a program of re-education for the surviving Azanians, which teaches them to be "real women" (read: appreciative and submissive Christian wives), with the graduates later married off to Confederation soldiers. Hard cases who buck the treatment do exist; these are written off and sold as slaves instead.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 30 Rock:
    • Devon Banks claimed he was "cured" of his homosexuality. It didn't work, as Devon remains infatuated with men, especially Kenneth.
    • Inverted in "Cooter", when a "gay bomb" weapon malfunctions, causing Jack and Pentagon brass to start hitting on each other. In a later episode, it is implied things went further as Jack fretted about meeting a general he'd had sex with under the influence.note 
      Cooter: I feel weird.
      Jack: [hungrily] Let's do this.
  • 4400:
    • It's implied that Noah's fear of doctors stems from his parents trying to stop him from transitioning.
    • Isaiah's family is involved in the "reparative therapy" business... which has been denounced by his son.
  • 2 Broke Girls's third-season finale, "And The First Degree", mentioned this little anecdote, when Max is telling Caroline she never graduated high school.
    Max: The only thing I graduated from is a scarred straight program, which is why I'm not gay anymore.
  • All My Children:
    • Erica Kane attempted some version of this when her daughter Bianca came out of the closet, believing her to be more confused than anything else. The therapist ended up helping both of them come to terms with it and repair their relationship.
    • A minor character's parents attempted to do this with their son, sending him to therapy. It only served to make the poor boy even more confused and upset, culminating in his parents disowning him when he refused to deny his sexuality. Fortunately, one of the town's wealthiest citizens took him under his wing.
  • In American Horror Story: Asylum, set in 1964 in an insane asylum, we have Lana, a reporter who wants to investigate the asylum. When the head finds out, she has Lana imprisoned (with her partner's reluctant consent) because Lana is gay. One sympathetic psychiatrist has a plan to help her escape by proving she is "cured" of her gayness, and because it's 1964, he first tries aversion therapy. It didn't work.
  • Big Sky: Jerrie's parents sent her to a therapist in hopes this would stop her being transgender. After it didn't, they disowned her.
  • One episode of Boston Legal featured one of the recurring judges suing a Christian institution after their program failed to cure his homosexuality. Or, as he put it, the urges he kept having that in no way indicated he was actually gay.
  • The Boys (2019): Ezekiel's main selling point is that he truly believes that through the power of prayer, a person can become straight. At Believe Expo, Starlight even sees a poster of Homelander that says "Feeling Confused? Fly Straight", and the festival just serves as a way to market this to the world at large by sponsoring superheroes. He personally knows the opposite, and lives as a closeted gay man.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Joked about when Willow points out to her girlfriend Tara that some guys were checking her out.
      Tara: Oh my God! I'm cured! I want the boys!
    • Played more straight (if hidden behind a thin veil of metaphor about witchcraft) in an earlier episode where Tara's father vows to stop her living "God knows what kind of lifestyle."
  • The short-lived CBS drama Century City (the law firm OF THE FUTURE!) had its pilot shuffled around and eventually buried because it dealt with this trope head-on. A prenatal procedure that reduces the chances of a child being born gay has become commonplace, and the law firm is hired by a couple of parents who are suing their doctor because their child has been born gay. At first, they think it was a medical error... then they find out the doctor's been deliberately sabotaging the procedure because he hates the idea of homosexuality and the gay community just vanishing silently. The episode ends with a Gay Aesop, but it's understandable why the topic was a bit hinky,
  • The Colbert Report: Turning Stephen Colbert gay is part of the national Secret Gay Agenda. Their most insidious weapon in this fight? Baby Carrots.
  • In Community episodes Physical Education Shirley suggests this if Abed's admirer is male.
  • Coupling poked fun at this in an episode that had a lot of fun with Steve's fascination with lesbian porn. In one of the typical misunderstandings, Patrick mistakes Jane's therapist Jill for a lesbian while she thinks that Patrick is gay. Both are unaware of it, both are surprised how open the other is to being turned by the right man/woman, and both end up in bed together. The final scene of the episode is Patrick sporting a happy "wow, I scored a lesbian" smile.
  • Criminal Minds
    • One episode features someone who went to a conversion camp and became so traumatized by it that he turned into a serial killer who targets gays. Given that the conversion methods involved calling them abominations and having a prostitute "rape them straight", it shouldn't be surprising that it turned out so badly. This episode caused the uproar of many proponents of conversion therapy.
    • In another episode, a father tried beating the gay out of his son for most of his life, driving him insane and making him kill other gay men so he could steal their identities and live their carefree lives.
  • Degrassi: The Next Generation:
    • In one episode, Riley contacts an organization devoted to this sort of therapy, after entering "how to not be gay" in a search engine. He is frustrated when told the process will take years and involve considerable expense. He eventually comes to terms with his homosexuality.
    • Fans did it first. A lot of fanfic involved "curing" Marco. It didn't work out well, most of the time. Some of the time it did.
    • The New Transfer Student Becky tries to do this. First, she gives Dave a pamphlet for curing gayness, even though Dave is just playing a gay guy in a play and is actually straight. She then has a crush on Adam, who is transgender, and when she finds out she tries to get him to change as well. The tables turn though while Becky is dating Adam and she tells her parents that he's trans, which ends up putting HER into "reparative therapy".
  • Thomas from Downton Abbey tries to cure his own gayness with some reparative therapy he learns about from a newspaper ad and afterward continues to administer treatments himself. All it gets him is a trip to the hospital.
  • Played terribly straight in EastEnders, when Syed, in a desperate bid to get his parents to love and respect him again, goes to a therapist who claims he can make someone straight.
  • Ellen. Subverted in one episode, in which everyone wishes they could be gay because it's so chic in Hollywood, to the point in which Sean Penn comes out to increase his popularity. Being a Fake Brit is the real atrocity.
  • Glee:
    • One episode features Kurt trying to be more masculine, and thus straight, because he thinks his father will love him more. His (very loving and accepting) father sees right through this but humors his son anyway. By the end of the episode, of course, he accepts himself.
      Kurt: Turned out we have a lot more in common. The flannel. The Mellencamp. The ladies.
    • Later mentioned in a far more serious context when Karofsky is outed at his new school and tries to hang himself; at the hospital, he tells Kurt that his mother thinks he has a disease and that maybe he can be cured.
  • Dale of Greek tries to "cure" Calvin by giving him pictures of male models and then forcing him to smell rotten food (to create a connection between the two). Dale mostly drops it when Calvin points out that the same passage of the Bible that condemns homosexuality also condemns wearing clothing from different cloths (and is that a multifiber sweater?).
  • In Grey's Anatomy, after Callie comes out to her father (a die-hard Catholic), he cuts her off. After a few episodes, he comes back seemingly to reconcile... then Callie notices a priest he brought with him. She immediately starts angrily telling him that he can't "pray away the gay". Interestingly, the priest barely gets to say anything, as her father is the one trying to Bible-stump his way out of this "problem" with the priest trying to act as a mediator and the voice of reason. Eventually, Callie's father accepts her but only after Arizona (Callie's girlfriend) has a heart-to-heart talk with him. In a later episode, we find out that Callie's mother still has a long way to go before she can accept this (despite Callie pointing out that her own assistant is gay).
  • Played for Laughs in the Clarkson Island sketch in Harry and Paul. The Clarkson farmer notes that, every so often, they do get a gay Clarkson. To fix this, the farmer sprays it with "de-gay", thus turning it back into a regular Manly Man Clarkson.
  • House:
    • The patient in the episode "The Choice" is engaged to a woman and insists that he has been 'cured' of homosexuality. Dr. House, full of disgust as a medical professional, calls his patient's treatment clinic "Dr. Liberace's He-Man Quackery Camp." Their cure turns out to be the cause of his illness.
      Patient: I am as straight as any one of you!
      Thirteen: Oh, I don't doubt that even for a minute.
    • They went in the opposite direction when an asexual patient shows up in one episode. In that one, House bets Wilson that he can prove that her asexuality is caused by a medical condition. He "cures" her husband and gets her to admit she lied about being ace. This in spite of the fact that House's treatment would at most restore the man's libido; it would not establish sexual attraction, though House claims otherwise.
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. One episode involved a doctor that claims to be able to cure homosexuality who is suspected of murdering his son's (male) lover. He claims he had no idea his son was gay and thought he was being raped but he knew all along as his son's beard's mother told him. The victim was a former spokesman for an organization that supposedly cures homosexuality; when questioned, members of the group — a gay man and a lesbian who are married, having been tragically brainwashed and warped by the group — acknowledge that there's no such thing as a cure for their orientation and that choosing to suppress their sexual desires is as much a "lifestyle choice" as being part of gay culture— and just as much of a struggle.
  • Lewis: "Life Born of Fire" opens with the suicide of a gay man who (as it emerges during the course of the episode) was a member of a Christian group that attempted to 'cure' his homosexuality.
  • The L Word:
    • When Jenny and Shane are interviewing potential roommates in Season 2, one of them makes this offer, and she is shown the door.
    • In Season 3 an "ex-gay" ministry is introduced by flashbacks from the 1980s, showing this drives people into mass hypocrisy as the supposed "former" gays or lesbians just have sex on the side.
  • Mad About You: Paul's mother's reaction to his sister coming out of the closet was to attempt to jump out of a window, then outright state "You are NOT a lesbian!" and declare her intent to send her to see a doctor. When his sister angrily declared, "I don't need to see a therapist!", her mother further cemented her irrational reaction by informing her that the doctor in question was an ENT specialist.
  • On Malcolm in the Middle, Francis becomes an assistant to beauty pageant contestants. He finds out that they think he's gay but goes along with it as it means they're comfortable flaunting their bodies around him and letting him help them change costumes. Eventually, he tries to get together with one by saying he's wondering if he can be cured, but this lands him in a seminar where a stereotypical Southern preacher lambasts the audience to "pray away the gay." It's also implied that another man at the seminar only comes there to pick up guys.
  • A Mr. Show sketch: The "Good News" program on the What-to-Think Network tries to do this. A Transparent Closet man keeps coming back over the years claiming that he's been cured, only to "relapse" and get caught at gay orgies again and again. In the end, the host declares that he has plans to "relapse" again during an upcoming holiday (presumably for another orgy) and then re-convert.
  • The main plot for the controversial short-lived television TLC documentary My Husband's Not Gay in which four wives of four random Mormon men are in denial of their husbands' sexualities and try to "cure" them through any means possible.
  • Our America With Lisa Ling featured a trio of episodes dealing with conversion therapy. "Pray the Gay Away?" featured interviews with several people trying to "cure" their homosexuality, the people trying to "cure" them, and teenage attendees at an LGBT-supportive summer camp. "Pray the Gay Away? — Breaking News" aired 17 months later. It repeated almost all of the same footage from the first episode along with a few minutes of a new interview with "ex=gay" organization Exodus International president Alan Chambers acknowledging that he was not "cured". The third episode, "God and Gays", aired 10 months after the second, one day after Exodus International disbanded. Chambers apologized to several gay and lesbian people for trying to sell the cure for as long as he did.
  • An episode of Perception (2012) about the murder of a psychiatrist had it revealed that he was trying to do this with several of his patients. It was eventually learned that the doctor himself was gay and was having an affair with one of the men, who killed him because the doctor wanted to stop his treatment so they could have a legitimate relationship, which would have destroyed his marriage.
  • Queer as Folk (US) tried this on Emmett with a church organization called "See the Light". It culminated in a rather amusing scene in which Emmet and another "cured" lesbian have sex; they both try to envision a perfect, sexy member of the opposite sex, but end up fantasizing about those of their own. Both of them got better.
  • In The CW's Riverdale, after coming to terms with being a lesbian and developing a close bond with Toni Topaz, Cheryl Blossom gets sent against her will to a conversion hospital by her homophobic mother Penelope in a selfish attempt to cure her daughter of her "demons". Luckily, Cheryl is rescued by Toni and Veronica in the nick of time.
  • Parodied on Saturday Night Live with the drug Homocil, though this was more to help the parents deal with it, rather than turning the child back straight.
  • The School Nurse Files: In the finale, some teachers suggest that Radi and Hye-min's lesbianism should be cured early, upon discovering that they are going out.
  • Scrubs:
    • In one episode, Elliot claims to have convinced a man he was straight by sleeping with him. Of course, then he hanged himself.
    • When her brother Barry came out, their parents sent him to hetero-camp.
    • She also loves doing a roleplay scenario with Keith where he plays the high school student and her the Lesbian Jock - and Keith 'turns' her.
  • Seinfeld
    • In "The Beard", Elaine tries to make a gay man "change teams". She succeeds, but only temporarily.
      Elaine: Being a woman, I only really have access to the, uh... "equipment", what? 30, 45 minutes a week? And that's on a good week. How can I be expected to have the same expertise as people who own this equipment, and have access to it 24 hours a day, their entire lives?
      Jerry: You can't. That's why they lose very few players.
    • In "The Smelly Car", while George is angsting about possibly driving an ex-girlfriend to lesbianism, Kramer — the Kavorka Man Trope Namer — manages to seduce a lifelong lesbian without even trying. The only reason she ended up going back was that he wore Jerry's jacket which had been contaminated with the stench from the eponymous smelly car.
      Elaine: Wait a minute, wait a minute. Kramer, Kramer. Hold on a second, I don't get this. This woman has never been with a man her entire life.
      Kramer: [shrug] I'm Kramer.
  • In Shameless (US), Mickey Milkovich is caught getting it from his boyfriend Ian when his homophobic father Terry comes home unexpectedly. Terry beats Mickey into unconsciousness and holds Ian captive at gunpoint while he calls in a prostitute to "fuck the queer" out of his son. Faced with himself and Ian being shot if he refuses, Mickey complies. The prostitute later turns out to be pregnant and Mickey is forced to marry her even though he has no desire to and still wants to be with Ian (including having sex with him literally right before he goes out to the altar).
  • The Shield:
    • Played horrifically straight in an episode. A young girl is raped repeatedly by her bigoted father, brother, and others in order to cure her of her homosexuality. The trauma is enough that she acknowledges her orientation again.
    • The Shield also played it completely straight with Julian, a cop who struggled with the conflict between his homosexual desires and his devout Baptist beliefs. He eventually marries a woman and seems happy with her, but it is implied that his homosexuality may only have been repressed, not eliminated.
    • Series creator Shawn Ryan has said that the disappearance and lack of direct reference to Julian's homosexuality was due both to Michael Jace's discomfort with shooting so many gay scenes and because in a lot of his research he saw that (unfortunately) quite a few married "ex-gays" in Christian circles that had undergone sexual "reorientation" therapy tend to still claim they're straight for a long time.
  • In The Sopranos, when Finn asks what is going to happen with an outed Vito, Chris tries to ease his mind by telling him that they'll make Vito pay for some therapy. Later on, Vito also tries to discuss it with Tony, to no avail.
    Vito: It was the medication I was on. For my blood pressure. It fucked with my head, but I'm over that now. I could probably get a letter from my doctor
    Tony: A note from your doctor saying you don't like to suck cock?
  • South of Nowhere
    • Upon finding out about her daughter's lesbianism, Spencer's bigoted mother hires a "professional" to cure Spencer of her homosexuality. She and the therapist both get the smackdown from Arthur once he finds out.
    • Spencer isn't exactly a fan either.
      Paula: I love you, Spencer; you are sick...
      Spencer: I am sick?!
      Paula: ... And I want to help you.
      Spencer: Mom, Glenn was so addicted to painkillers that he ended up in jail, and I am the one that needs to get better?!
      Arthur: Give me a sec with your mother [Spencer storms off] Why are you doing this, Paula?
      Paula: I am trying to help our daughter!
      Arthur: Well, you are pushing her away. We are going to lose her!
      Paula: Oh, open your eyes, Arthur: We already have!
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation had the Sci-Fi version of this in the episode "The Outcast", which featured the J'naii, a race of beings who pride themselves on being androgynous and view gender identity and gender attraction as taboo. When a J'naii called Soren begins to have feelings for Riker, Soren is forced to undergo "psychotectic therapy." To Riker's horror, it proves successful.
  • An episode of Sugar Rush has the protagonist going to a church group to "cure" herself - but instead ends up finding herself a date.
  • In an episode of Teachers (2016), Ms. Bennigan mentions that her friend Josiah was sent to North Dakota after he got caught kissing boys.
  • During an episode of Top Gear guest-starring Michael Gambon, Michael said one of his favorite things was to give ignorant reporters interviews full of Blatant Lies. He recalls a story where one interviewer asked if he was uncomfortable playing Oscar Wilde in a film because of his homosexuality, Gambon responded by saying that he used to be gay, but "had to give it up" because it made his eyes water. The interviewer evidently took this seriously.
  • In The Vampire Diaries, Isobel uses her Mind Control to compelled a gay cowboy named Frank into her own sex slave and servant. He's shown to having sex with another female servant.
  • One episode of Veronica Mars involved a high school boy whose parents sent him to a camp that was supposed to "de-gay" him.
  • Inverted in The War at Home, where Dylan, Hillary's ex-boyfriend, turns gay as he began to date Kenny. Dave then commented her as "the gay maker".
  • Will & Grace. Subverted in one episode which guest-stars Neil Patrick Harris (who was still officially in the closet at the time) as the leader of an ex-gay club who Jack gets a crush on and ends up showering with, after it is discovered that EVERYONE in the club was actually using it as a dating service.

  • In the music video Be Mine by Ofenbach, two gay boys (a Pretty Boy couple) get kidnapped by a sexy crazy girl. They are tied up and gagged, she's trying to seduce and torture both of them. It did eventually work, they end up having a threesome.
  • Inverted in Tim Minchin's Five Poofs And Two Pianos in which he expresses the desire to get someone to do the same thing but in reverse because gays are cooler.
  • Lou Reed's Kill Your Sons from "Sally Can't Dance" was based on his electroshock therapy in an attempt to cure his bisexuality.
  • Reggae musician Capleton regularly sings about the need to 'purify' gays. To add insult to injury, he uses fire as a symbol for purification (borrowed from his Rastafari faith), causing many people to misinterpret what he's saying as Bury Your Gays.
  • "Bambi" by Prince from his album Prince, in which the protagonist tries to convince his former female partner, who left him for a woman, to come back to him:
    Bambi, can't you understand?
    Bambi, it's better with a man
    All your lovers - they just look like you
    But they can only do the things that you do
    Come on, baby, and take me by the hand
    I'm gonna show you what it's like to be loved by a man

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Bloom County, "Outland", where Steve Dallas was subjected to electroshock therapy.
  • Poked fun at in a Doonesbury strip, where Lacey Davenport and Joanie visit a homosexuality-awareness meeting. Lacey, not very familiar with the homosexual community, kindly asks them "But have you really tried dating some nice girls?" One of the men replies "It doesn't work like that, ma'am."

  • The Bible:
    • Paul the apostle in 1st Corinthians seems to believe it is possible through the power of God working in people's lives. In 1st Corinthians 6:9-10, he lists "effeminates" and "abusers of themselves with mankind" (read today as "homosexuals") as among those who will not inherit the Kingdom of God. In verse 11, he says, "And such were some of you — but you have been washed, you have been sanctified, and you have been justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God."
    • Jesus Himself hints at this when He tells the people of Capernaum, "If the mighty works that were done in you were done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the people of Sodom in the Day of Judgment than for you." (Matthew 11:23-24)

    Tabletop Games 
  • Space 1889 In Canal Priests of Mars the John Douglas 9th Marquess of Queensbury is bringing his effeminate son Alfred to Mars to get him out of Oscar Wilde's influence and to 'toughen' him. Historically he would in 1895 trick Oscar Wilde into suing him -which ended up sending Oscar Wilde to prison. Historically Alfred didn't meet Oscar Wilde until 1891 and Canal Priests of Mars is presumably set in 1889 so this is slightly ahistorical.
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse features Homogeniety Incorporated, a private firm that offers to cure your non-heterosexual urges. Good news: it works! Bad news: it also cures every single one of your other urges and turns you into a blank, featureless fomor that lashes out at the slightest bit of "abnormality."

  • From The Book of Mormon: The song Turn It Off starts off as various Mormon missionaries giving advice on "turning off" unpleasant feelings/memories (sister dying of cancer, physically abusive father) but once a 'formerly gay' missionary reveals his struggles with his "really strange feelings for Steve" the song suddenly concentrates on advice about how to stop having gay thoughts, even though this is not remotely related to the main character's problem. It's as funny as it is sad.
    "Imagine that your brain is made of tiny boxes, then find the box that's gay and CRUSH IT!"
    "Boys should be with girls, that's heavenly father's plan. So, If you ever feel you'd rather be with a man, turn it off."
    "Being gay is bad but lying is worse. Just realize you have a curable curse, and turn it off!
  • The Boys in the Band. Michael and Donald both wish to be "cured" of their homosexuality; Donald is even seeing a shrink to help him. Other characters, like Emory and Harold, refuse to be cured, and in Harold's case, mocks Michael's self-loathing.
  • Peterson Toscano's one-man show Doin' Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway House is about the utter failure of this trope in the real world.
  • The Latent Heterosexual by Paddy Chayefsky has this happen accidentally with a Perfectly Arranged Marriage (for tax purposes) between a Camp Gay author and a prostitute.
    Christine: When I first met my husband, he was a faggot, junkie, poet. Well, he stopped being a faggot, he kicked the junk, and he hasn't written a word since last spring.
  • In the musical Only Heaven Knows, set in the 1940s and '50s, Alan sings the Tear Jerker "Where is the Love?" before going to get shock treatments to cure himself of homosexuality.

    Video Games 
  • In the 11th major expansion Monks and Mystics of Crusader Kings II, it featured a Satanic cult where your character's homosexuality can be "cured" by certain sexual events, such as a satanic orgy with a long-tail succubus. However, homosexuality can be "bestow upon" you by demons.
  • In Dragon Age: Inquisition, one of the major reasons Dorian Pavus left Tevinter was because his own father tried to use Blood Magic to make Dorian heterosexual (it should be noted that this has more to do with Tevinter obsession with bloodlines, rather than actual dislike of homosexuality in itself). The ritual is noted to have had a significant risk of lobotomizing him instead.
  • An apparent case of this was the cause of a huge amount of controversy with the character Soleil from Fire Emblem Fates. Soleil is a bisexual Action Girl with a preference for women, whose wandering eye leads to problems in battle; she asks the male Avatar for help, which involves him giving her a powder in her drink without her knowledge that makes her see everyone with genders reversed, clearing the way for the two of them to hook up since she now sees the Avatar as a cute girl. Nintendo did admit that the original scene came out terribly, said that they didn't mean for it to come off as gay conversion therapy, and both apologized and changed the scene for the localization: here Soleil and the Male Avatar mutually agree on having her blindfolded as she mentally and physically trains with him to focus better on the battlefield.
  • In Grand Theft Auto IV, the arch-Conservative and anti-gay Deputy Mayor of Liberty City Brice Dawkins ends up getting outed after evidence is released of him having a relationship with Bernie Craine. He continues to deny his homosexuality, insisting he is instead going to "rehab" to correct "personal failings".

    Visual Novels 
  • Shizune Hakamichi's route in Katawa Shoujo shows why this is a terrible idea, with Misha's infamous "comfort" scene. In the end Misha is still in love with Shizune, both she and Hisao feel terrible about their tryst since them having sex equaled to Hisao cheating on Shizune, and said tryst results in the route's Bad Ending where while Shizune never finds out about the cheating in itself, she breaks up with Hisao anyway because she mistakenly believes she is a hindrance in Hisao and Misha's lives.
  • Snoot Game, a visual novel made by an anonymous team of 4chan users known collectively as Cavemanon, features this as part of it being a parody/critique of Goodbye Volcano High. Fang, the protagonist of the latter game, is nonbinary, having come out and transitioned prior to the events of the game. Snoot Game both belittles and interrogates this identity over the course of its story, and should the player make the right choices, it's eventually revealed that Fang became nonbinary out of peer pressure from Trish. The game's two best endings feature Fang detransitioning into a cis woman, while in the two worst endings, Fang stays nonbinary and either becomes a school shooter or a washed-up, drug-addicted loser.

    Web Animation 
  • The Queer Duck episode "Oh Christ!" has a religious fundamentalist try to cure Queer Duck of being gay. The therapy sessions don't work on Queer Duck at all and he ultimately leads the rest of the gay men the fundamentalist is trying to convert into a fabulous dance routine.

  • The Dragon Doctors has devices that can change one's orientation easily, but it's only seen used to keep up when one's significant other switches gender (which can happen accidentally).
  • Dumbing of Age mocks a story arc from 9 Chickweed Lane, in which Seth, who identifies as gay, falls for a female dancer because of how well she danced, by having the parody say "I'm fixed! Your matchless legs have cured me of my homosexuality!" (Look under Joyce's strip.)
  • Inverted by Leftover Soup's Lovable Sex Maniac Maxine, who underwent months of intense "training" to cure her heterosexuality and become bisexual, pretty much just so she could perv on the entire population of the planet instead of just half. Apparently, it was easier than giving up bacon was when she decided to go vegan.
    Maxine: As far as I'm concerned, monosexuality, like monogamy, is a hurdle to be overcome. My yen for yin is entirely artificial. [...] Those people who say you're born with one orientation and are stuck with it? Those people are QUITTERS.
  • The "rape them straight" variant shows up in Misfile when two rednecks overhear Ash and Missi's Les Yay conversation and decide to "fix" them. Luckily, a friend of the girls' chases them off by saying he's taken pictures with his phone and is ready to go to the cops. The rednecks let everyone go, but set up an ambush to get the phone and the pictures. Then an angel kills them both.
  • In Rain, Rudy and Maria's parents look into camps for "curing" the pair's homosexuality. Both of them receive a book called "How to cure homosexuality and reopen the gates of heaven for yourself" for Christmas.
  • Exploited in Sandra and Woo. After Landon's fundamentalist mother forbids him from dating Larisa following a rather disasterous home visit, Michelle intervenes by sending her a call falsly claiming that everyone at school was convinced that Landon was gay and Larisa was curing him. Surprisingly, it works and Landon's mother allows them to continue dating (with the caveat that she never wants to see Larisa again).
  • A Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal comic shows a "gay vaccine" made by pro-gay people to trick anti-gay people into buying it. Naturally, it's just a saline solution.
  • A reverse example occurs early in Something*Positive when Monette insists she's a lesbian who just ends up sleeping with guys all the time and wants help to become properly gay.
    Peejee: You could always have sex with Davan.
    Aubrey: Plenty of his lovers switched teams afterwards.
    Davan: Hey! Fuck you! That's only happened twice!
  • The last issue of Sonichu before its long hiatus involves Chris-chan donating some of his "pure straight" blood to science so that they can create a vaccine that erases homosexuality on a genetic level, which he uses to turn his arch-nemesis straight and "turned him good" and injects into the water supply with the help of Time Travel, eventually eradicating homosexuality off the face of the Earth entirely. It also cured asexuality too. For some reason, they didn't use future Chris. And it raises some questions though: did the distribution of the gay vaccine in the past create a time paradox, or did the gay vaccine simply fail?
    • The fact that he terms it specifically as a vaccine brings some added lulz, as vaccines are made from the blood of someone who already has what you're trying to cure. Whoops. And naturally, he got the idea from the Family Guy example below. To compound the ridiculousness even further, he then proceeded to legalize gay sex in CWCville within the next few pages.
    • To add further ridiculousness Chris eventually identified as a female lesbian. The plot point was epicly retconned so that all previous mentions of homosexuality in a negative light were now replaced with "Zazi Nombies". Hilariously, they still need to fix it with Chris' pure straight blood.
  • Spinnerette: Sara Nicole Megan, a former Pumpkin Queen, voluntarily takes psychotropic drugs to "keep on the straight and narrow". It doesn't seem to work fully though, as she's turned on when watching Mecha Maid and Spinnerette fighting.
  • Yoona from Welcome to Room #305 is a lesbian who hates the fact that she's gay. As a teenager, she tried to 'cure' herself but that didn't work so she eventually just stopped dating period.

    Web Original 
  • The web series Coming In stars Mitchell, a gay man who wakes up one day attracted to women instead of men. After attempts to go back to liking men fail, Mitchell attempts to navigate his newfound world of heterosexuality. No reason is ever given for the change - when Mitchell's father proudly claims he was only going through a phase of being gay, Mitchell shuts him down, saying that isn't how it works. Early on, Mitchell goes to an "ex-gay" meeting for support, only to see that the men are clearly still attracted to men.
  • This anecdot on F My Life is about an employee being threatened by his boss to get fired unless he "cures" his lesbian daughter because she is dating the boss' daughter.
  • The Landover Baptist Church, via its charismatic spokeswoman Mrs. Betty Bowers ("America's Best Christian"), runs an outreach aimed at reforming gay men and women - Baptists Are Saving Homosexuals. Indeed, she boasts of the sheer number of gays who have been BASHed by the saving love of Jesus Christ.
  • The Sassy Gay Friend reveals that he was the victim of a failed attempt at this in the Macbeth video.
    Lady Macbeth: You can't change my mind. I've already prayed to the gods to remove my femininity.
    Sassy Gay Friend: Ooh! Praying away femininity! Yeah! I tried that at a Jesus camp for gay teens. Spoiler alert! It didn't work!
  • SkyCorp Home Video gives us Closetra®, a pill to suppress gay thoughts.

    Western Animation 
  • American Dad!:
    • Inverted when Stan tries to make himself gay, to prove by analogy that if straights can change, gays can too. He finds it doesn't work for him (as the guy he tried to sleep with said, "it's not a choice, either you're gay or you aren't"), and he uses the knowledge as a basis for inviting gays into the Conservative party, because... "otherwise they might become liberal." (gasp)
    • One of Stan's CIA co-workers (whose sexuality is confusing, to say the least) claimed he was once gay, but after he got out of real estate his "sodomy cleared up like that".
  • On Archer, Gillette reveals that he was married for two years... to a lesbian. They met at a Pray-Away-The-Gay bible group. It was a weird time in his life.
  • In Drawn Together, after being alienated from his girlfriend upon finding out he's gay, Xandir tries to wish himself straight on a magic lamp (with "encouragement" from Clara). The genie refuses to grant it and calls him out on it.
  • In Family Guy, Peter becomes gay after a medical experiment and leaves Lois. Stewie and Brian then take Peter by force to a Christian "Straight Camp." Doesn't work, but by the end of the episode his "gay gene" naturally wears off (just between an all-male orgy) and he's back as a "straight" man. Peter, through the years, seems to be just as inclined towards screwing anyone as Quagmire, so how much of this really was Peter being "turned" and then "cured" of homosexuality vs. something making Peter react much more strongly to male pheromones than normal combining with his penchant for self-delusion is anyone's guess.
  • In the Futurama episode "Proposition Infinity", "robosexuals" Amy and Bender are respectively subjected to being "cured" of their attraction, complete with Bender going to the robot equivalent of a conversion therapy camp. In a bit of Black Comedy, Morbo exasperatedly says "What's next? Gay robot marriage?'', implying that, even in the thirty-first century, there are still issues concerning human(oid) rights.
  • An episode of King of the Hill offers a more sympathetic take on this. Peggy admits that before she met Hank she slept with a gay male friend in an attempt to "fix" him. In this case, the man was the one who asked because (as Peggy puts it), being gay in Texas in the 60s wasn't exactly a lot of fun. When Luanne asks "Did you fix him?", Peggy responds "Oh, no, Luanne, he was not broken. Just gay. Very, very gay."
  • Rick & Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple in All the World: Subverted/played for laughs. In "Mom Fight", Evan encourages Chuck to get out and take better advantage of the fact that they have an open relationship, with one night a week when they're allowed to sleep with other people; Chuck ends up experimenting with a woman and enjoying it. Evan is deeply upset and decides to join the ex-gay movement so that he can have a night of revenge sex with Condi Ling. Of course, the effort fails epically — instead of making him straight it makes him Too Kinky to Torture — and of course, he has no serious interest in actually being meaningfully "cured" in the first place.
  • Parodied in a Saturday Night Live TV Funhouse short with "Heteroy", the Christian fundamentalist superhero whose powers convert gays to straights when they prove resistant to converting through other means.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In the episode "Homer's Phobia", Homer panics that Bart might be gay after contact with kitsch memorabilia seller John. In order to prevent or cure any possible homosexuality, Homer takes Bart to stare at a billboard of a sexy woman (it just makes him want to smoke since it's a cigarette ad), to a steel mill to see manly men at work (who all turn out to be gay), deer hunting, and finally just shooting at reindeer in a pen.
      Homer: [John] didn't give you gay, did he?
    • In "Future-Drama", a Flash Forward episode, Bart sees Smithers with his female fiancee.
      Bart: Mr. Smithers? I thought you were, you know— uh.
      Smithers: Haha, no, I'm straight - as long as I take these injections every ten minutes. [injects himself] I LOVE BOOBIES!
    • Ned Flanders once said the reason he was so in shape is that he "runs for the cure...of homosexuality!" Ironically enough, he wouldn't be the namer of Stupid Sexy Flanders if he wasn't fit.
    • Smithers explains his being photographed leaving a burlesque house: "My parents insisted I give it a try."
  • South Park:
    • In the episode "Cartman Sucks", Butters' dad worries that Butters is bi-curious. Butters is sent off to a Christian conversion therapy camp, where the idea that the boys there are just "confused" is repeatedly reinforced (if you weren't confused before you went, you will be afterward). At the conversion therapy camp, the boys are miserable and suicide is common. As in, happens every five minutes. Meanwhile Butters doesn't have a clue as to what is going on (though it doesn't stop him from giving a Patrick Stewart Speech at the end).
    • In "Big Gay Al's Big Gay Boat Ride", Stan tries to try to cure his dog of homosexuality, before Big Gay Al makes his debut and espouses gay civil rights for animals.
    • Averted, subverted, inverted, and possibly played straight with Mr. Garrison: he has gone back and forth between being a man preferring women, a transgender woman preferring men, a transgender woman preferring women, back to a cisgender man preferring women, and back to a man preferring men. Horses and other barnyard animals may have been sprinkled throughout. The general consensus is that Mr. Garrison has not so much "been cured of being homosexual" twice over as he is simply so psychologically depraved that he'll become sexually attracted to whatever is considered the most "deviant" thing to be attracted to at that very moment, just because it's considered "vile".
      Chef: Chil'ren, there's a big difference between gay people and Mr. Garrison. Do you understand that?
  • On The Venture Bros., the joke has been made at least a few times. In season 2, episode 3, Hank mentions that Dr. Venture had been working on a "cure for the gay gene," until stopped by protesters. In season 3, episode 13, Holy Diver (formerly Shore Leave) claims to have "banished the demons of homosexuality" and to have been "cured by the Lord." Of course, that was just part of his cover. His partner, on the other hand, wasn't gay, and simply did him as part of his cover.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Ex Gay


Camp New Grace

Butters is put in gay camp after his parents mistook him for gay after finding him with Eric Cartmans balls in his mouth

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / CureYourGays

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