This is the one where a woman is giving birth, and a man (as it is Always Male) must coach her through the process. It may be played for laughs as the man pulls horrified faces at the sight of what's happening between the woman's legs, or it might be emotionally-charged melodrama.
It's implied that she would be in trouble without him, but the trouble is not defined as a specific medical emergency since the man is not a medical professional. At the very least, she is helped by his emotional support, even if he's a relative stranger to her; at the most extreme, it's implied that somehow she would not be able to give birth safely without someone telling her when to push.
The man is rarely the mother's significant other. Occasionally he is a potential significant other, and the two of them are drawn closer together in this unexpected intimate situation. He could also be a potential partner for another female character, who is afterwards impressed by his bravery and sensitivity.
Whoever he is, he's treated as a hero for having done this (even though all he did was hold her hand and tell her to push, and maybe "catch" the baby as it's born), and tends to be given more attention than even the mother. If he's not the father, he might be given impromptu "father figure" status (especially if there's no actual father to feel threatened about this), and be the first to proudly hold the baby while standing at the beaming mother's bedside. If the baby ends being a boy, it's likely that the baby will be named after him.
Aversions would include: a non-professional woman assisting during another woman's labour, with no men present; or a woman giving birth alone, instinctively knowing what to do, and not needing any emotional support to keep her from panicking.
Can be subverted by having the man panic or even pass out while the woman just gets down to business.
If you thought this was about some other type of delivery guy, you should look up the guy who visited nine months prior under Pizza Boy Special Delivery or Courier if the deliveries typically arrive in boxes and aren't infants.
- In Barefoot Gen, the titular character's mother is pregnant at the start of the film, and the family is anxiously awaiting the birth of the child. Then Little Boy drops, and after a failed attempt at rescuing her husband, her daughter, and her other son from their burning house, the stress causes Kimiko to go into premature labor. Six-year-old Gen tries to find a medical professional, but all the doctors and nurses are too busy attempting to treat the burned bomb victims. Thus Gen is forced to deliver the baby himself.
- Les Tuniques Bleues: A Union force is charged with defending a crossing from Confederates, with a refugee convoy asking the Union for protection. One of the women goes into labor, and Sergeant Chesterfield is forced into this role, much to his horror. The woman's screams cause the Confederates to think the Union is torturing women, but their heroic momentum runs out when they're shushed by the soldiery crowding around the tent. The baby is delivered, everyone returns to their side... and simultaneously agree that attacking/defending would be stupid and pointless.
- Superman has done this on several occasions. On at least one occasion he had to talk the mother into making "Superman" the kid's middle name rather than his first name. In another story, a suicidal guy is taken for a flight by him (he was expecting a speech about how everyone makes a difference, but Supes said he was going to try something else), and ends up delivering a baby himself, essentially getting practical evidence he could make a difference.
- The Second Try: In chapter "bear" Shinji had to make this for his wife Asuka due to them being the last human beings on Earth. Although he expresses his worries and doubts about having to take care of the delivery by himself, he learnt all he could on the subject, he rushed Asuka to the hospital when her contractions began, and during the delivery proper however, he did his best to keep his panic in check and make sure that both mother and baby are all right.
- In Through a Diamond Sky, the heroes are making their escape from the Resource Hog base on a stolen Recognizer when the Iso scout Kanna goes into labor. As everyone else is occupied, Flynn gets the short straw.
- Crucible played around this trope a bit with the birth of Garrus's son. The midwifes are there (Chakwas and Miranda) but the moment those two turn to other places to get things, the kid decides to come out right then and there so his father, who has been yanked over for helps, ends up being the one who catches the kid. At least the latter parts about cutting the cord and cleaning up things are done by the right people.
- In Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Diego has to coach Ellie through her delivery... while fighting away hungry raptors.
- In the first Men in Black movie, Jay has to fill this role for an alien.
Kay: Congratulations Reg, it's a... squid.
- John Ford's The Three Godfathers has three main male characters, so only one has to go in and help with the birth, which takes place offscreen (though the man still knows nothin' about birthin' no babies.) Miraculously, the baby is still named after John Wayne's character. (Well, named after all three of them, but Wayne gets the first name.)
- In Children of Men, Theo helps Kee deliver her baby in a rundown building in the middle of a battle-torn refugee camp. She names the baby after his son.
- Pauline plays Borovnian Emperor Charles doing this for Empress Deborah (Juliet) for the birth of Diello in Heavenly Creatures. Juliet enacts contractions and proper breathing pretty convincingly in a semi-Screaming Birth. Charles is pretty inept, telling his wife to push between contractions.
- The main character of Legion has to give premature birth in a diner surrounded by hostile, possessed humans who want to kill the child. Her birth attendants are the Archangel Michael and Audrey, a teenage girl who insists that, "Just because I'm a girl doesn't mean I know how to do this." Nevertheless, it's a case of Clean, Pretty Childbirth with a Three-Month-Old Newborn.
- Played straight in Blankman when Darryl must help a woman give birth in a stalled elevator. This becomes the first heroic deed that boosts his image in the eyes of the public.
- A variation in Big Momma's House, when Malcolm must help a woman give birth, but everyone present thinks he is Big Momma, who is in fact a certified midwife but Malcolm of course, is not.
- Vorkosigan Saga: In Barrayar, Sergeant Bothari acts as midwife to Lady Alys Vorpatril for the birth of Ivan. Unusually well justified, in that the others present have never attended a birth (well, apart from Cordelia, but she was the patient having the C-section at the time), and his mother was a midwife/prostitute who used to take him along on her rounds.
- The Wheel of Time: Referenced when women near Rand talk about how men are always useless during childbirth. Rand, a Farm Boy-turned-Chosen One, immediately reminisces about the time he had to reach into a ewe's womb to turn around a birthing lamb.
- Dag Redwing recounted being this in The Sharing Knife: Beguilement some decades before when alone as a young two-handed patroller on the Great Lake Road with a woman in labor. Fortunately there were no complications, and more to the point it was the woman's fourth child so she could talk him through it.
"Which she did, pretty tartly... She called me such names."
- This happens in the Alien Nation episode "Real Men", with the twist that the pregnant person is also male.
- At least three times on Baywatch, the lifeguards have to deliver a baby. The first time, a terrified Eddie claims he has no idea what to do (which makes no sense, as lifeguards receive extensive first aid training, which would include childbirth) and it's up to his fellow lifeguard and girlfriend Shauni to help. The second time, Mitch is equally scared, and when telling his mentor, the older man admits he was just as scared when he had to deliver a baby. By the third time, Mitch handles it like a pro.
- Community - Happens to Abed without anyone noticing in a series of Funny Background Events in season two episode three. When Shirley asks what he's been up to all day, he replies "Nothing much." When Shirley is giving birth, Abed tries to put his experience to use (with more lampshade hanging on how no-one knew what happened) but it eventually falls to Britta.
Abed: At each contraction, you need to tell Shirley to push.
Britta: That's it?
Abed: Well, don't tell any doctors I said this, but at this point in time the bus pretty much drives itself.
- Doctor Who:
- Played with in "Amy's Choice", where a heavily pregnant Amy pretends to go into labour, and the Doctor dives down, holding his hand beneath her legs as if he was going to catch a football.
- "The Tsuranga Conundrum" has Yoss. He ends up giving birth with Graham and Ryan asked to be his doulas, insisting that he needs some men around (in addition to female medic Mabli). Graham insists that he's got an idea of what to do, having seen every episode of Call the Midwife, but panics in the moment itself, telling Ryan he always looked away at the squeamish bits.
- Early Edition had an episode where the paper said Chuck would deliver a baby in a cab. Chuck winds up insulting the mother-to-be, and the paper changes to say he would deliver a baby in an elevator. Wanting no part of it, Chuck vows to hide out in his apartment for the rest of the day. He winds up getting in the elevator in his building, then it breaks down - then he realizes the women in the elevator with him is pregnant AND her water just broke. He faints, and Gary winds up climbing down the elevator shaft to deliver the baby, then leaves the same way so Chuck still comes off as the hero.
- Subverted on ER. Although Benton is a doctor, he's a surgeon, and pretty much panics when he realizes that an obese woman's stomach pains are actually labor — "I haven't delivered a baby since med school!"
- In Everybody Loves Raymond: New York cops are legendary for having seen just about everything and for being able to cope with just about anything. Until Sergeant Robert Barone tries to take charge of his sister-in-law's pregnancy scare and attempts to run her into hospital. He succeeds in getting stuck in a traffic jam on Queensboro Bridge and, faced with delivering Debra's baby, flounders terribly. Ray is no help. Fortunately for Sergeant Barone, who panics completely, it's a false alarm.
- A short film from the Sci-Fi series Exposure had a man attempting to be the first suicide of the 21st century instead wind up delivering the first baby of the 21st century. Judging from his expression the next morning after seeing his picture on the morning paper and people recognizing him, he feels like everything turned out all right.
- Played with in Falling Skies. When Sarah gives birth, Anne, who despite being a pediatrician is the only doctor they have, is set to deliver with Margaret there for emotional support. When it becomes apparent that the baby will be born breach, Anne admits to Captain Weaver she does not know what to do. He reveals that he helped deliver his babies both of whom were born breach, and takes over.
- Farscape: The usually incredibly calm, cool, and collected Aeryn Sun needs John's coaching to get through her delivery as she really doesn't seem convinced she can do it. They were in the middle of a battle and getting shot at at the time so a little panic seems pretty warranted.
- Father Brown: In "The Kembleford Dragon", Father Brown is forced to deliver Pandora's baby when goes into labour unexpectedly: having sent the only other person present to fetch an ambulance. He does a commendable job all things considered, although it is clear he would rather be anywhere else.
- Played with when Daphne enters labour in a vet's surgery. The vet himself is next to useless, Niles' attempts to keep her calm by coaching her through her breathing exercises only result in him passing out as a result of a fit of hyperventilation, and it falls upon a woman in the waiting room who happens to be a nurse to take charge of everything.
- In another episode, Niles, Frasier, and Martin get a cab. The female cabdriver asks if they've heard any of the "giving birth in a cab" stories that have been spoken of as folklore amongst people. After the three men respond, the driver, in an inversion of the typical stories (where the passenger is pregnant and the driver must deliver the child as she goes into labor), explains that it is going to happen right now and goes into labor herself. The three men do their best to help her, with varying degrees of competence (Frasier tries but is ultimately useless, Niles is completely incompetent, asking why the meter is still running at one point, and Martin, having been a father himself and a retired police officer who has had to deliver babies a couple times, doing the best job of the three). Both mother and child make it to the hospital safely. Niles considers fatherhood after the event, spending the rest of the episode trying to raise a sack of flour as his son, directly or indirectly inflicting enough harm on the "child" to kill or seriously injure him at least twice (including but not limited to impaling with a sharp instrument and third degree burns). By the episode's end, Niles decides that fatherhood isn't for him at this time, though after what happened to the sack child many viewers would probably be inclined to suggest a vasectomy instead.
- Subverted in a The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air episode where Will befriended a pregnant sportscaster. It looks like the trope will be played straight, but the paramedics get there in time. He does, however, stick by her to serve as her birthing coach.
- In the Fringe episode "Bloodline", Henry the cab driver ends up having to deliver Fauxlivia's baby on the floor of a clothing store in Chinatown. For maximum awkward points, Henry previously met "main" Olivia when she was brainwashed into thinking she was Fauxlivia, and he thinks this in the same Olivia. Fauxlivia on the other hand, has no idea who he is.
- When Bailey on Grey's Anatomy had her son she pretty much gave up when it came time to push, since her husband was in surgery at the same time. She ended up being talked to her senses by George, who then proceeded to coach her through the delivery. She gave her son the middle name George.
- In the Highlander fourth season episode, "The Blitz", Anne Lindsey (who is an ER doctor AND 9 months pregnant) goes to a train station after an explosion to try and help with the injured. She winds up going into labor and Duncan has to deliver the baby. Anne names the baby Mary, after his mother.
- Home Improvement: Tim, Jill, and mom-to-be Heidi got stuck at a pit stop when labor hits. Jill and Tim coach her through it, and Tim gives up his soft and warm jacket for the baby.
- The classic subversion, even though the birth doesn't actually happen on screen, is from I Love Lucy. Ricky and the neighbors are practicing what they'll do when the baby is about to be born: calling the doctor, grabbing Lucy's luggage, helping her on with her coat and heading out to the car, all with perfect calm and grace. Then Lucy waddles into the room and says, for real, "Ricky, this is it!" Hilarity Ensues as Ricky and the neighbors run around like chickens with their heads cut off, and Lucy, looking uncomfortable but still keeping a cool head, has to remind them of what has to be done. To top it all off, they initially leave Lucy behind.
- On JAG, Admiral Chegwidden did this twice in his office. The first time was in "Yeah, Baby" when Bud's wife Harriet went into labor while at work, and the other was in "All Ye Faithful" when the wife of a Marine corporal started having contractions after they had been evicted from their home.
Chegwidden: Push, Lieutenant! That's an Order!!
- Kyle XY has an episode where Kyle must help a stranger give birth on the side of the road. It had to be him even though there were others with him because he's so smart that everything comes to him naturally.
- Law & Order: After a chaotic day dealing with several crimes, Briscoe and Green find a pregnant woman in labor. (They feared she'd been murdered by her cheating husband, but she'd actually been kidnapped by a crazy woman who wanted to steal her baby.) The detectives get right to work.
- In one episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a pregnant woman who has been kidnapped by her ex-husband's new mother-in-law has been found by Elliott. She is scheduled for a C-section because the placenta formed over her cervix (meaning the baby would otherwise burst through it a la Alien and cause her to bleed to death). Elliott calls an ambulance, but the baby is coming too quickly. He delivers the baby (using knowledge gained from being present at the births of each of his own children), but the mother does not survive.
- Averted with Kathy Stabler who is given emotional support by her husband's partner Olivia Benson while on the way to the hospital.
- Superman's done this loads of times, including once in Lois & Clark, when the father says afterwards, "I've just thought of the perfect name." There was also a story in the comics where he saved a guy from suicide, left him with the expectant mother while he rescued someone else, and came back to ask the guy if he still thought he'd never achieved anything in his life.
- On Lost, Claire went into labour in the middle of jungle. Technically it's Kate who eventually delivers the baby, but more or less panicked Jin and Charlie provide support.
- MacGyver (1985): In "Birth Day", MacGyver becomes trapped in an abandoned factory with a pregnant woman fleeing a murderous husband, with her delivery imminent.
- Happened in Malcolm in the Middle, with Francis being forced to help deliver his own mom's baby, at one point being told "stick your hands inside of Mommy!" Afterwards, she tells him how it was the best thing he's ever done for her - and that he can go vomit now.
- Midnight Caller: Jack tries to be this when his boss Devon gives birth, but he faints as soon as he walks into the OR and sees her in labor. By the time he wakes up, the baby has been born.
- The Musketeers: Elodie goes into labor just in time for the climactic battle scene so Porthos stays to coach her through it. She then shows up in the series finale and they get married.
- The NCIS Christmas Episode "Newborn King" has Gibbs having to deliver an army lieutenant's baby which is the focus of a conflict between the Department of Defense and a tribe of Afghan natives over land rights and inheritance. Ziva is present, but the woman wants a Marine to deliver the baby, so Ziva leaves to fight off the mercenaries.
- Primeval season 3 episode 3, where the B plot is that Abby has to deliver a baby when locked in a room with Nick and a pregnant woman.
- A variation in Psych. Chief Vick gets to a hospital before the baby is born, but her husband is stuck in traffic, so she asks Lassiter to stay with her.
- Henry is this for Marlowe, as her husband is busy driving the food truck to the hospital. It's very much a Screaming Birth.
- Happens in an episode of Saved by the Bell, where Zack is stuck in an elevator with Principal Belding's pregnant wife following an earthquake. Zack assists with the birth, and becomes the baby's namesake.
- Stargate SG-1: When a woman goes into labour alone in a temple, most of SG-1 don't know what to do. Colonel O'Neill and Teal'c look expectantly at Carter and she indignantly points out she has no idea what to do either. Daniel takes control of the situation, revealing in the process that there have been occasions in the past where he's been on archaeological digs in Yucatán and had to deliver babies while there. As a result, he knows exactly what to do and doesn't panic. It's later explored more tragically when Daniel helps his wife Sha're give birth to a child she conceived by rape. As the unwilling host of the Goa'uld Amonet, she has been a forced participant in the plan of Amonet and her mate Apophis to conceive a forbidden child who will become the new host of Apophis. Amonet is forced to give birth in hiding and to relinquish control of Sha're to protect the baby's life, leaving Daniel and Sha're to deal with the birth alone while soldiers of Apophis's enemy, Heru'ur, hunt for them.
- Stargate Atlantis: Discussed and averted with Teyla. When Atlantis goes into lock-down, leaving Sheppard and Teyla trapped together, Sheppard becomes very nervous of Teyla. When she demands to know what the problem is, he mentions the very common storytelling device that when pregnant women are trapped alone with a man they inevitably go into labour. Teyla doesn't go into labour because Sheppard forgot the cardinal rule of this storytelling device: it's got to be the guy most ill-suited for dealing with a birthing situation, which is MacKay. When she does go into labour, it's on a Wraith ship they're trying to escape from and she is left alone with a panicking MacKay while Sheppard and Ronan fight off the enemy. It's averted, however, because it's later heavily implied that all MacKay really did was catch the baby in his jacket while Teyla did most of the work alone.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Disaster": When the aforementioned disaster left groups of people trapped in different areas of the ship, it fell to Worf of all people to assist in the delivery of Keiko O'Brien's daughter. It helped cement Worf's character as lacking in interpersonal skills after he yells "Push!" for the umpteenth time, Keiko snaps back with "I AM pushing!" and his line "You may now give birth." The baby is named Molly Miyaki Worf O'Brien in his honor. The birth gets a Call-Back in Deep Space Nine: when Worf is told that Keiko is having another baby, his immediate reaction is a panicked "Now!?" He then decides that when it's time for the delivery, he'll be away from the station. Far away. Visiting his parents. On Earth.
- In the classic Star Trek episode "Friday's Child," Kirk and McCoy protect a woman who is pregnant with the heir to the leadership of her people. She gives birth in a cave while hiding from their enemies, and McCoy assists (he's a doctor, so this takes place off camera). At the end of the episode, Bones announces that the baby was named Leonard James Ak'aar, after both of his mother's protectors. Spock was visibly shocked, noting that the captain and the doctor will be "insufferably pleased with [them]selves for at least a month... sir."
- On Taxi, Alex Reiger is forced by circumstance to deliver a baby in the back seat of his cab (The father/coach couldn't handle it). The parents wanted to name the baby after him... until he told them his name.
- Averted on The X-Files, where it is a fellow female agent, Monica Reyes, who must help deliver Scully's baby while hiding from those who want to kidnap the child.
- At the end of the Criminal Minds episode "Gatekeeper," Reid, Morgan, and the unsub are alone with the unsub's estranged wife when she goes into labor. Reid assists the wife and provides a distraction so that Morgan can arrest the unsub. JJ and Blake (both women who have given birth) come in as Morgan is dragging the unsub out, and paramedics arrive moments later, but it's still Reid who delivers the child, who is then named for him. He explains that he'd memorized delivery materials years earlier when JJ'd gotten pregnant in case he'd have to serve as her Delivery Guy, but he still has no medical training.
- Played for Laughs at DC Nation when Sue Dibny went into labor. Ralph was busy with a rogue, Mid-Nite was stuck in surgery, so little Allanah Dibny was delivered by Eel "Plastic Man" O'Brien, Hal Jordan, Martian Manhunter, and Wally West!
Plastic Man: Whoa, Sue... not the way I wanted to look up your skirt!
- Get Medieval: Asher is forced to deliver Eleanor's baby. Neithe is present as well, but she panics and ends up being delegated to hand-holding duty.
- Sabrina Online: Thomas ends up being the hand-holding guy to Amy as she is giving birth to their child, Timothy. While Thomas gets his hand crushed by Amy, Sabrina sits out in the lobby, oblivious to the pain inside.
- In Kevin & Kell, Carl ends up delivering Lindesfarne's baby after she goes into labor while being rescued from a terrorist attack. Downplayed in that Carl's mother is a midwife, so he does have some idea of what to do from learning from her... Still, he does admit to Leona later that he was terrified during the whole thing.
- In Misfile, when the baby comes early and Kate's husband can't be reached in time, she insists that Ash, as basically the only other person she cares about, stay with her while she gives birth. Of course, she doesn't know that Ash is actually an example of this trope.
- Pictured above: In Hey Arnold!'s episode "The Journal" has Arnold's father Miles in the role, when his wife/Arnold's mom Stella is forced to have her son in an abandoned San Lorenzo temple while lava from a nearby erupting volcano flows past. Understandably, poor Stella is screaming her head off and poor Miles can barely keep himself from panicking.
Miles: Remember, breathe, breathe — just like in class — whoo, whoo—
Stella: [lunging at Miles] Shut up! Shut Up! SHUT UP!!!
- Season 4 of BoJack Horseman has an offscreen version of this, as Todd Chavez managed to get stranded on a deserted island with a pregnant lioness, who went into labor because of the shipwreck they'd just escaped from. According to her father, Todd not only delivered the cub, but he went so far as to give it a circumcision (after a spirited debate about the merits and detriments to the procedure).
- Archer: In the fifth season finale Archer reveals he trained as a doula so he could assist Lana Kane should she go into labor unexpectedly. He ends up being pretty useless and annoys Lana so much she tries to shoot him (luckily her gun was empty). Shortly after this Archer's mother arrives with Pam and they kick him out so they can actually help Lana.