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Egg Sitting

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Babysitting and crimefighting at once? Of course this wasn't going to turn out sunny-side-up for you, Bats.

"Let's see what Mr. Chapin had you do while I was gone. Oh, dear, not the "egg" thing. That is so outdated! I mean, who can't take care of a simple egg?"

American kids, as part of their health ed class, often have to take care of an egg for a while and treat it like a child. If the egg is cracked or broken at the end, or they don't have somebody always looking after it, they will fail. Curiously, this plan is never cleared with the other teachers at the school, who are less than sympathetic when it interrupts their classes. Usually, the kids are paired for the assignment, but sometimes each individual kid has their own egg.

Generally, the kids are totally irresponsible, and will either play catch with the egg, fight over it, lose it among several hundred other eggs, or otherwise risk flunking. Hilarity Ensues. Often, when the students are paired, the main character will have to work together with someone he or she doesn't like — or may have another kind of tension with — to get themselves out of the mess they put themselves in.

A lot of times the egg breaks and they replace it with another one, only to be found out because the teacher had secretly tagged the egg in some manner.

This trope is also semi-common with teenaged superheroes, who must then try to fufill the assignment while keeping up with their crime-fighting.

This is something that Real Life high schools actually do to discourage students from having unprotected sex, the moral being: "Look at what a pain it is to take care of a kid at your age." In fiction, it may be part of a Sex Miseducation Class.

In the real world, the eggs have mostly been displaced by lifelike dolls, equipped with features to make them even more annoying, like a battery-powered chip which makes the baby scream. Only some egg sitting episodes have made the switch. Occasionally a third option is used, such as a bag of flour or sugar, which more properly imitates the weight of a baby (and, for comedic purposes, will certainly make a huge mess if dropped or destroyed).

Note that this is a very specific trope to North America (more specifically the United States) and when it is encountered by others in American-made media, a common response is to think it an example of Aluminum Christmas Trees.

Subtrope of Parents for a Day. Compare Egg MacGuffin, the more literal version, and Babysitting Episode. When the pretense is replaced by madness, that's Baby-Doll Baby.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Futaba-kun Change! has a similar chapter, but it's a misunderstanding arising from the main character's Jerkass sister having hard-boiled eggs in his bed as a midnight snack and leaving one there.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • Lillie in Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon is assigned to watch over a Pokémon egg early in the Alola arc (which has a school setting and is in Alola, an American-based region). A few episodes later, it hatches into an Alolan Vulpix, which becomes her first Pokémon.
    • Ash and Goh have to do this with a Riolu egg in Pokémon Journeys: The Series. Funnily enough, the idea of Ash and Goh taking care of a Pokémon egg together had become popular on tumblr some weeks before this episode was announced.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena has Nanami taking care of an egg for an episode on her own initiative, but she thinks she laid it and gets a bit upset whenever anyone mentions omelettes or similar foods.

    Comic Books 
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: In "Double Negg-ative," Billy is assigned a school project taking care of an egg. Grim is taking care of a very delicate one—the Cosmic Egg. If it breaks then it's the end of everything as we know it. Mandy secretly steals the Cosmic Egg and makes Grim think Billy took it. A wild chase through Endsville takes place for the egg, which Mandy has hidden in her dress pocket—and on the last panel, she breaks it.
  • The "Death of a Goblin" storyline in Ultimate Spider-Man has this with life-like dolls instead of eggs, with Peter awkwardly paired up with X-Girlfriend Kitty Pryde. Pun intended. Then, when she gets fed up and passes it on to him, he ends up accidentally blowing it up when bad guy Omega Red attacks the Daily Bugle. Fortunately, after Peter proves he works at the Bugle and provides the paper's front page describing the attack, the teacher is relatively understanding of the situation and gives them a decent if not outstanding passing grade.
    Kitty Pryde: He killed our baby!

    Comic Strips 
  • In Booker and Sheldon's introductory story arc in U.S. Acres (which was loosely adapted in Garfield and Friends), the twins' mother abandoned them to go on vacation. When Orson Pig found the eggs, he decided to hatch them himself by sitting on them. While Booker is successfully hatched, the only part of Sheldon that gets hatched are his legs. This is because before Sheldon was hatched, he read some newspapers showing the world's disastersnote , and decided he'd be happier in his shell.

    Fan Works 
  • Are You There, God, It’s Me, Shouta: My Hero Academia]] Class 1-A takes care of robot babies in pairs. It goes about as well as you might expect. Aoyama puts a chemical foot peel on his and Tenya’s baby. Tokoyami dresses up his and Shoji’s goth-style. Hakagure and Ojiro tape theirs to the wall. Ejirou pushes his and Bakugo’s down the stairs in a laundry basket. Ashido and Sero have theirs too close a new joint attack they are trying and melt theirs. And Uraraka uses her quirk on hers and Asui’s and it’s floating on a leash.
  • Coyote: Hound Dog has Izuku carry around an egg filled with blue glycerin; in order to pass, he needs to be able to care for it three full days without breaking it. In addition to helping him learn how to better control his Super-Strength, this exercise is also meant to teach him to defend himself, as Bakugou is perfectly willing to smash the egg just to spite him. The second time Izuku reaches a Rage Breaking Point with Bakugou in the story (although it's more of a "so fed up that he feels disappointment and stops caring about him" point) is when Izuku has to fend off Bakugou trying to smash the egg for the nth-time during the visit to the USJ and firmly points out that even for Bakugou this has crossed into the realm of the extremely petty.
  • "Enfant Terrible" follows Monet of Generation X as she has to deal with one of the electronic doll sort.
  • Parenting 101: After a delivery mission goes horribly wrong, Bucciarati tries to get the team to be more responsible by having them take care of flour sack babies for a week. Only Mista's makes it to the end of the week; Narancia's lasts ten minutes, Giorno turns his into a frog while trying to hide it and it hops away, Purple Haze drops Fugo's while playing with it (and in the ensuing chaos, Narancia trips over a rock and drops Trish's), and Abbacchio turns his into pancakes.
  • In The Subspace Emissary's Worlds Conquest, OC Chris takes care of one (whom he named Eggy Jr. IV) while world-trekking in Mega Man Legends. He has many close calls and nearly loses it to Roll after leaving it in her care...who then forgot about it in a boat on the other side of the island. He is understandably upset and forces the team to go back for it. The ending narrative of the arc mentions Eggy's fulfilled role and eventual demise in a trash can that allowed Chris to get an A and how it was funny he always made him panic when found on the floor.

    Film — Live Action 
  • Otis in The Adventures of Milo and Otis is charged with caring for a chicken egg for a few hours and takes the role very seriously, watching the egg intently. It hatches on his watch and the new chick immediately assumes Otis is its mother.
  • In Garage Days, Joe babysits a watermelon ("Melly") to prove to his girlfriend he can have a kid. When Melly gets "killed" (hit by a car, no less) he becomes distraught and almost suicidal.
  • In License to Wed the couple being tested by Robin Williams' character are given a pair of extremely disturbing baby dolls. In addition to being equipped to scream and cry (very loudly), they are also capable of various other functions, including... You know what, let's not go there.
  • In We're the Millers, the Millers have to wrap a pack of marijuana in a blanket and pretend it's a baby to stop the others from seeing it. When the pack eventually gets thrown into the street and run over, Casey quickly covers by claiming she was taking care of a pack of herbs for a school project.

  • Lifelike doll variant: In the Adrian Mole series, Adrian rents one of these dolls for his sister Rosie to help her decide whether to continue with her accidental pregnancy.
  • Happened in a fairly good The Baby-Sitters Club book, Mary Anne + Too Many Babies. It even had a completely unexpected turn in-universe and out when one day in class, Mary Anne notices a classmate who is sobbing and initially thinks she's upset because of the troubled "marriage" of a pair of students who have "work" conflicts. Then when the teacher calls on the crying girl and her partner, the girl says "We lost our baby..."; the entire class reacts in shock and Mary Anne practically has a heart attack.
  • In Lisi Harrison's The Clique, Claire's class takes care of synthetic babies; the data can later be uploaded to the teacher's computer.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth had Greg do this with the rest of his health class. Every boy except Greg and Rowley destroys their egg in a free-for-all, the girls (and Rowley) decorate their eggs and make special pouches for them (and end up devastated when the teacher chucks them in the trash at the end of the assignment), and Greg does his best to protect his egg in order to not fail the class...except his mom cooks it for breakfast.
  • Long before this trope developed, the Cyril M. Kornbluth story "The Education of Tigress McArdle" (1957), set Exty Years from Publication, has a robot Toddler that works like this for adults as part of the Parental Qualifications Program which is actually a Yellow Peril plot; the Toddler is so obnoxious that it persuades a generation or two of Americans to get sterilized. The Chinese then move in to the aging and low-populated country.
    • It goes even longer than that. The story of "Fitcher's Bird" by The Brothers Grimm has a sorcerer named Fitze Fitcher who marries young women and gives them an egg, then tells them to carry it everywhere except the sorcerer's room and to be very careful with it for a few days before he can marry them. Failure to pass the test results in the women getting dismembered. One of the women, however, is smarter than her two sisters that he has dismembered, so she has to hide it into a clean, safe place before she can enter the room and bring her sisters Back from the Dead.
  • Flour Babies is based entirely around this trope, as a boy looks after a bag of flour and discovers the truth about his parents.
  • In the Girl Talk series, they had an egg-sitting episode, mostly for a "Not So Different" set up between Zek and a quiet pianist. Though it's notable for the fact the Alpha Bitch tried to cheat by boiling hers, and a guy accidentally sat on his.
  • In Nothing But Trouble Trouble Trouble, the plot centers around the narrator and her friend being assigned to care for either a pet or an egg for the weekend and write it all down. First they try to kidnap a rich, bratty neighbor's two nasty cats, then are forced to return them and use the eggs. Then their eggs break, so they quickly purchase a mouse to use. And then that gets loose. All of this is kept secret, owing to the fact that the narrator's younger sister is very allergic to all pets.
  • Eve Bunting's Our Sixth Grade Sugar Babies, likewise, is a book whose plot is based solely on this trope.
  • In Planet Tad, a regular feature in MAD, later released as a book, Tad and one of his classmates have to do this. So many of the kids in the class break their eggs that the teacher says that anyone whose egg remains intact will get an A for the project. Tad and his classmate nearly get one, until the teacher learns that Tad hardboiled the egg.
  • Slapshots: The third book has an egg baby class project as a subplot. Chipmunk's eggs keep being destoryed as a Running Gag (along with everyone else's besides Jared's at one point early on) and his teacher gets fed up and threatens to give him an F if he breaks one more. Chipmunk uses sealant and cement to make the egg shatterproof, but gets a D- due to how that would be a terrible thing to do to a real baby. Jared's egg gets smashed as well near the end of the book, but he still gets an A for protecting it that long and for showing paternal grief over its loss.
  • The Sweet Valley Twins book The Middle School Gets Married used this plot.
  • In Holly Black's Valiant, Ruth and Val take care of a flour sack together, which prompts Jen to call them lesbians.
    • Unfortunately, Val commits infanticide so that she can use the flour to expose a faerie's glamoured apartment. When they fail the project, they try to scrape together a paper about the effects of post-partum depression.
  • Rachel Held Evans describes doing the "electronic baby doll" variant in her book A Year of Biblical Womanhood, during the month of May, when the attribute to focus on was "Fertility," but her husband refused to get her pregnant just for the sake of a writing project. She rented an electronic baby doll called the "Think It Over Baby," and named the baby "Chip." "Chip" was designed to go through a few different cycles, some like an "easy" baby, others like a fussy baby, and it would log the "care" it received in a computer algorithm.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 8 Simple Rules used the 'Bag of flour' version: Everyone uses the flour for baking, leaving the "baby" deflated.
  • 100 Things to Do Before High School: In "Adopt A Flour Baby Thing!", CJ agrees to adopt a flour bag baby for 24 hours to prove she is responsible enough to own a Guinea pig. A spirit of competitiveness cause Crispo, Fenwick and CJ's dad to join the contest. Because he is allergic to wheat, Fenwick has to parent a bag of potato chips. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Referenced in The Big Bang Theory. When Raj's father tells Raj he's cut off financially Raj protests that he can learn responsibility some other way. That is, taking care of an egg-by for a week.
  • In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Bad Eggs", the eggs turn out to have Puppeteer Parasites inside them. Most of the students get taken over, but Buffy kills hers when it hatches, and Xander tried to cheat by boiling his egg. (He was still going to eat it, however, which is how he discovered the parasite.)
  • Castle: Alexis and her friend Paige do this with an egg ('Feggin'), asking Castle to egg-sit while she and the friend go to a party. Surprisingly, both Castle and Beckett manage to keep the egg safe. However, after Paige gets drunk at a party and Castle calls her parents, she "accidentally" destroys the egg.
    • Leads to a surprisingly tender moment between Castle and Beckett. While Castle is "babysitting" his "grand-egg" at the precinct, he gets an emergency call and rushes off. In the morning he discovers that Beckett took Feggin home with her. Castle thanks her and she says "He was easy. He didn't even fuss when I put him to bed."
  • Plot point for a Catwalk episode, in which the egg was named Lester... and eaten.
  • In one episode of Charmed (1998), Paige rents a doll for expectant parents Piper and Leo to care for to see what it will be like to raise a child while constantly battling demons. Hilarity Ensues when the Demon of the Week shows up and the doll predictably doesn't survive in one piece. Thankfully their real kid is Goo-Goo-Godlike.
  • Played with in an season 5 episode of Cobra Kai. Chozen gives each of the students an egg and tells them to protect it, as he will be coming for it. After he breaks all their eggs, he makes them try again. This time, they put all their eggs together in one place, and surround them in a defensive position. When Chozen came to attack, they were able to fend him off, as the lesson he was trying to impart was the value of working together vs. individually. This would help them in the season finale, when "the egg" was a tablet that was uploading video proof of Terry Silver admitting he paid off the referee at the All Valley tournament. Miguel even says "protect the egg".
  • During a Season 10 episode of Cheers, Carla challenged Rebecca to take care of an egg.
  • Degrassi Junior High, "Eggbert": Spike gets the egg assignment in a prenatal class. Shane, who got her pregnant, has been asking to take more responsibility. She calls his bluff by making him look after the egg— on the weekend of a major party. The project helps bring out the worst in the entire cast. Since this is Degrassi, the viewer knows that eventually the egg will break; the only question is how and when.
    • Degrassi: The Next Generation, "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For": When Danny discovers that his sister is pregnant, he blackmails her boyfriend into helping him take care of the doll ("you need to learn this anyway"). It ends with the doll getting smashed in public.
  • An episode of A Different World had this once, where one of the characters was obsessing over the egg as if it actually WAS her child.
  • Everybody Hates Chris: Chris's class gets this assignment in the episode "Everybody Hates Eggs". Miss Morello, being the naively racist teacher that she is, she gives Chris a brown egg and makes him do the project alone as a single father.
  • Flash Forward (1996): The main character, Tucker, has to take care of an electronic baby and babysit a live child at the same time. He manages to take care of the living kid, but the electronic baby is broken in an accident, which he tries to repair by using parts from movie monster kits that he collects.
  • Although this is usually played with high school age characters, Frasier used the trope in one episode, when Niles adopts a sack of flour to see if he is ready to become a dad. The humor comes in that the sack is singed, taped, glued, and otherwise maimed from a series of events that take place offscreen and are highly unlikely for babies to encounter (as Niles put it, "A real baby would have cried before bursting into flames"). Ultimately, the sack was chewed up by the dog and Niles treats the situation as if he had actually lost the child. He also had a dream where somebody kidnapped it and started sending him muffins in the mail.
  • Played With on Girl Meets World. Before Cory and Topanga leave Riley to babysit Auggie, they give her an egg. Riley assumes it's going to play out the typical way with her having to take care of it to prove she's responsible. Instead, Cory has Riley give the egg a name, face, and personality so Riley will become emotionally attached to it. Once she does, Topanga smashes the egg, to Riley's horror. Cory then tells her that if she's that upset over the egg, she should have an idea of how upset Cory and Topanga will be if something happens to Auggie on her watch.
  • The Goldbergs: Adam and Dana have to take care of a Cabbage Patch Kid for class. Beverly, naturally, meddles in and takes the doll to prove she can be a good "bubbie". She ends up losing it, and tries to replace it with a Lettuce Crop Kid. The teacher passes Adam after he tells off her mother for meddling. The teacher realized that the assigment was to see if Adam could be a responsible adult, and by standing up for himself, has technically proven himself as such.
  • Hank Zipzer: In "Who Ordered the Baby?", Hank is pleased when his mum says he can work in the deli to earn a new pair of the latest cool trainers. That is until he's given his latest school assignment, to look after a pretend baby for the weekend. Despite his best attempts, Hank can't juggle a crying baby and work. He decides to focus on getting the trainers, but disaster strikes when he accidentally ends up swapping his fake baby for a real one.
  • Hannah Montana: Oliver bonds with his partner while caring for a sack of flour and they start dating, only for him to discover they have nothing in common when the assignment is over.
  • Head of the Class: Standard hijinks ensue, including one student losing his egg at a Star Trek convention.
  • How to Be Indie: The class gets an egg sitting assignment in "How to Get Gotten". Indie tries to dodge the assignment by volunteering to escort a seventh grader who is being trialed in the eighth grade for a week instead.
  • An adult example occurs in an episode of Kenny vs. Spenny. Each is given a lifelike doll that requires attention and records how observant the parent is. Kenny purposely mistreats and eventually “kills” his doll and then switches it with Spenny’s doll.
  • In an episode of Lab Rats, Adam and Chase must take care of baby dolls, and they start fighting and torture each other's baby in various ways. Adam's baby ends up with the head shaped like a waffle and Chase's, with a burnt face.
  • Also used with adults on Las Vegas, where egg-sitting is a homework assignment for a couple's parenting class. The father-to-be's egg gets broken in his jacket pocket, while the expectant mother dresses hers up more like a pet chihuahua than a child. She also foists eggs off on other casino staff who aren't yet parents, so they can "share the life lesson".
  • in the Max & Shred episode The Half-Cab Robot Baby Bonk", the title pair must take care of a baby simulator that can be plugged into a computer to discover if anything serious happened to the baby.
  • On The Middle, Axl ends up dismantling the doll to get it to stop crying, after earlier accidentally microwaving it. Needless to say, he fails the assignment.
  • My Wife and Kids: Michael makes Junior take care of a water balloon to test if he is ready to be a parent. Junior draws a face on it and calls it Fetus Face. It is eventually destroyed when he slams down the hood of his car while arguing with Michael and the water balloon falls on the floor, followed by a montage of Junior and the water balloon together.
  • Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, "Bathrooms and Project Partners": Ned takes a "Life Science" Class meaning he and Cookie have to raise a doll the whole semester. Loomer steals the doll from Ned and Cookie, and threatens to send it back piece by piece if they don't do what he wants. Ned gleefully points out that they can just wait for Loomer to send all the pieces back, then put the doll together again. But their teacher moves the end of the project forward, before the doll's head is returned...
  • Singaporean comedy series Phua Chu Kang have an episode where Aloysius Phua and his then-girlfriend, Lynette, had a Social Studies Project where they simulate how a "family" is like... including having Lynette playing the "pregnant" mother by having a raw egg strapped to her stomach. For that added "realism". By the episode's end, the raw egg somehow managed to hatch into a chick, where it's revealed Lynette decides to keep it as her pet.
  • In Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin, The pregnant Imogen has Chip as her partner in taking care of an infant simulator for health ed. A takes and leaves it in a closet while Imogen has to pee, leaving a note telling her "YOU'RE A BAD MOTHER" which convinces her to go to an adoption agency for her real baby.
  • Rizzoli & Isles: In "Bassholes", Frankie loses a bet to Korsak and is forced to take care of a bag of flour and carry it as a baby for a day. Every time he screws up, Korsak adds a day to the time he has to care for it.
  • Played with during one of the challenges on Rock of Love. Each team of contenders took a baby doll through a roller derby course. The team with the least injuries to the baby at the end of the challenge won.
  • Something similar in Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Instead of being parents, they simulated marriage. Libby naturally snaps Harvey up as her partner, and Sabrina is "stuck" with a nerdy guy.
  • In the See Dad Run episode "See Dad See Dad Run", Emily takes care of a robotic baby doll for class.
  • Lucy and her boyfriend get this assignment on 7th Heaven. When something happens to their egg, Ruthie advises them to write that they aren't ready to be parents, which is the whole point of the assignment, anyway.
  • Seriously Weird: In "When Eggs Go Bad", Harris and Claudia's school assignment is to care for an egg, but what are they to do when it comes to life and starts to grow?
  • On Shameless (US), pregnant teen Debbie tries to prove to her older sister Fiona that she's responsible enough to care for a child by carrying around a sack of flour. (Admittedly, more the size and weight of a baby than an egg.) It goes about as well as expected.
  • So Awkward: In "A Room of Her Own", in Life Lessons class Martha and Ollie volunteer to be parents to a new 'baby app', thinking it'll be an easy task. Utterly defeated by the baby app's constant crying and demands they palm 'baby' off on Cassie and Maxwell, who in turn are soon at their wits' end.
  • Parodied, like every other high-school trope, on Strangers with Candy, where a teacher announces that "in order for you to learn what it's like to take care of a ten-pound 'baby,' each of you will be taking care of... a ten-pound baby." Sure enough, each pair of students is assigned a live child. Jerri and her friend Tammi quickly fall into the roles of "abusive husband" and "doormat housewife" respectively, and the baby is spectacularly neglected in the process.
  • In The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, Maddie and London do this with a baby doll. This runs into the problem of the baby constantly crying up to the point where they're so fed up with it they fight and end up throwing the baby out the window by accident.
  • Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip: The simulation doll ends up being decapitated by a "safe" prop guillotine, then put back together (...mostly) by the prop department of the Show Within a Show.
  • On That '70s Show, Jackie uses this as a test for Kelso. The egg is broken and replaced, but he manages to explain away the missing pencil mark as having given it a bath.
  • Veronica Mars has to "raise" a baby-like doll with her boyfriend Duncan for a sex-ed class. It's not clear if they fail or succeed, but Veronica definitely isn't shown to be a reliable parent. Also, the doll serves as Foreshadowing for the reveal that Duncan's ex-girlfriend is pregnant.

  • The "It Could Still Make a Cake" strip in Ctrl+Alt+Del manages this whole trope in four panels, wherein Ethan is fooled into dropping the "baby" when Lucas tells him that flour can be full of bees. (There's also discussion of egg-sitting in The Rant.)
  • Olympic Dames - this is the strategy used by the god Pan as a cover story to explain how four high school girls all became very visibly pregnant overnight, one ludicrously so. He implants this into the minds of everyone they meet so as to make them think the pregnancy bulges are just fat suits and the bulges are part of an Egg Sitting assignment.
  • A Skewed Paradise has this as on ongoing plotline.

    Web Animation 
  • Camp Camp has a variation when the kids find a bunch of platypus eggs and are divided up into pairs by the camp's owner to take care of them until they hatch so he can sell the babies. The results are mostly messy (literally), as well as one instance of an egg running away to escape his parents' abusive relationship, complete with leaving a goodbye note behind. Only Max and Nikki's egg hatches and the baby is immediately eaten by its mother.
  • Homestar Runner: In the Strong Bad Email "parenting", Strong Bad recalls being tasked to raise, not the traditional flour bag or egg, but a plastic storage bag full of banana pudding in Coach Z's "health class".
    Strong Bad: How is this slop-sack anything like a real human baby?
    Coach Z: Exac-uh like an RHB! It's small, it's mushy, smells like plastic, and it's full of yellow goop!

    Web Original 
  • In the Hardly Working episode "The Egg" , Sarah announces that she's pregnant after everyone in the office had a huge orgy (which we naturally don't see). Since she doesn't know who the father is, she gives each of the guys an egg, telling them that whoever keeps theirs intact for her whole pregnancy will be the dad; Dan is the odd man out, as he has to care for a fully-grown nude guy because Sarah runs out of eggs. After a montage, all of the guys but Dan end up breaking their eggs—then things get even weirder when the nude guy turns out to be an egg, too. Sarah then realizes how stupid the plan was and decides to a get a DNA test instead, much to the chagrin of the poor cameraman who had edit six thousand hours of footage into a minute-long clip. While Sarah and the guys pull an "Everybody Laughs" Ending, the cameraman pulls a gun on himself, making this a literal case of Shoot the Shaggy Dog.
  • Parodied by The Onion here — the parenting assignment is focused solely on posting photos of the egg on social media.
  • The QSMP server makes a unique twist where the Federation, hosted by the Duckling in the Egg Adoption Event, forces everyone to take care of the egg they adopted after the Dragon supposedly woke up and disappeared. And since the eggs are actually alive, the guests are forced to protect them at all costs, causing a sink-or-swim situation for many guests. A majority of the guests were formed in pairs, while others either took care of their eggs as single parents, or in groups.
  • SuperMarioLogan: In The Baby Project!, Junior and Jeffy are tasked with taking care of a baby doll for a whole day. However, it takes a dark subversion when it's revealed at the end that their actual task is killing the baby.

    Western Animation 
  • All Hail King Julien, while Julien is playing daddy, Action Girl Clover begins to feel she is poorly suited to be a mother, and attends a motherhood class where she is tasked with Egg Sitting as an assignment. She takes this very seriously, as when villains threaten her with the chance to either save King Julien's life or save her egg's life, she takes this as an actual Sadistic Choice, going out of her way to prioritize saving both.
  • An episode of American Dragon: Jake Long had Jake trying to protect a griffin's egg from the Huntsman and Huntsgirl, with Fu Dog's help. In the same episode, his class is given an egg-sitting assignment, which makes for a hilarious (but convenient) mix-up.
  • Arthur's sister, D.W. has a Tamagotchi-like (though on-line) "Net Kitten" that is imperiled when the family computer breaks down. She asks her friend Emily to take care of it, then becomes jealous when Emily does a better job than she did.
  • Batman Beyond:
    • In place of a real egg, Terry's Family Studies class uses a baby-sized artificial egg that's AI-enabled to cry, get "hungry" and generally respond like a real kid. Unable to get anyone to babysit his electronic egg, Terry has no choice but to take it along crime-fighting with him. Not only does Hilarity Ensue, he ends up getting the highest grade in the class, as only his egg was properly "stimulated" (it had the most fun). The teacher says this is a sign that Terry is excellent father material, which pleases his girlfriend. (Notably, this is the episode of the series that won an Emmy, and the commentary on the DVD explains that they intentionally wrote a funny episode for their otherwise serious show as deliberate award bait.)
    • Also an interesting take happens with one couple:
      Max: Here's the bio and civics.
      Nelson: Thanks, hon. How about the math?
      Max: It's coming, stop nagging.
      Terry: I get it. You're doing his homework so you don't have to take care of the baby.
      Max: We opted for the traditional marriage: one breadwinner, one homemaker.
      Nelson: Beats algebra.
  • Beavis and Butt-Head are assigned to care for a bag of sugar by Mr. Buzzcut. They immediately ruin the bag by dropping it in a river while "giving it a bath", then claims their baby was stolen by gypsies in the night. After Buzzcut fails them, they shove the remains of the sugarbag into his gas tank.
    Beavis: You killed it, dude!
    Butt-head: Now we'll never get to see it grow up. (throws the bag on the ground with a splat, then strums out the melody of Black Sabbath's Iron Man on Air Guitar)
  • Bob's Burgers: In "O.T.: The Outside Toilet", Gene's class has this exercise with sacks of flour. Gene manages to destroy three of them inside of a minute.
  • In one episode of Braceface, the students have to take care of lifelike electronic dolls.
  • Carl˛ does it with sophisticated robot babies, including a microchip that records how well the students do at "parenting". Carl accidentally decapitates his.
  • Done more than once by Daffy Duck.
  • Danny Phantom has Danny (secretly a half ghost) and Valerie, a fellow student, (secretly a Hunter of Monsters, trying to capture Danny) take care of a microchipped sack of flour that can simulate crying and defecation. Tucker had the idea of "babysitting" other students' projects for money, but his mother used all the flour for baking cookies, forcing him to pay everyone back with interest. Sam (originally partnered with Tucker), however, passes with an A, while Danny and Valerie (whose flour sack got destroyed in a ghost fight) get a C for their cooperation since they are the only other students whose flour sack had not been used for baking.
  • In "#ScrambledEggs" from DC Super Hero Girls 2019, the class is split into duos so that they can take care of eggs. The substitute teacher admits to not knowing about home economics, so he just looked it up online and used eggs because they were the first example that came up. None of the eggs survive because the duos bicker too much to pay attention to them, while Pamela Isley doesn't care and simply eats hers. When the main teacher comes back, she redoes the assignment with the Class Pet hamster's new babies.
  • Detention: The "babies" are water balloons, each of which has a device that cries at random and will lock into the 'on' position if the parent doesn't switch it off in time. The guys are either reckless with their babies or completely absent, so the girls add water to the balloons, saddling the guys with the extra-unwieldy babies. All the guys except Emmitt cause some accidental mayhem during a field trip, dropping their balloons in the process, so he and Shareena are the only ones that escape having to do the project again.
  • Detentionaire: Students have to take care of robot babies. This leads to some rather unusual pairings having to take care of a child together, such as Chaz and Tina (who bicker the whole time), Brandy and Irwin (who end up getting along surprisingly well), and Cam and Holger. And then there's Biffy, who gets unlucky and has to be a single dad with twins. At the end of the episode, we find out that the babies' real purpose is planting bugs in the students' homes as a part of Cassandra's plot. Turns out Holger wasn't really wrong calling them “evil robot babies”.
  • Drawn Together subverts this by giving Toot an actual baby (from Nicaragua) for the experiment. She gets pregnant. And we don't mean Toot.
  • Kuzco on The Emperor's New School has to do a class assignment with the others, each taking care of their own individual kitten. At his first attempt to care for it he throws it into his school locker (thinking it'll be fine on its own) and names it "Homework". Later, Yzma turns it into a full-grown jaguar.
  • The Fairly Oddparents episode "Two and a Half Babies" has Poof and Foop being paired to take care of an egg for a school assignment.
  • Future-Worm!: The episode "The Egg in the Family" has the student characters Ruby and Paco raise one as mandatory extra credit for all C-students. But the egg got accidentally swapped with Danny and Fyootch's egg-shaped container for the world-destroying galactic criminal Solip Nihilos. The container breaks after the mix-up, and Ruby and Paco managed to reform Solip with their parenting (as Solip was born from a supernova, having no real parents) while Danny and Fyootch were waiting in line to turn in their "bounty". Ruby even managed to scare off other bounty hunters going after Solip, including Danny and Fyootch once they realized their mistake.
  • Hercules: The Animated Series has the students taking care of eggs as part of their project. Despite his clumsiness and tendency to trip over his own feet and cause chaos and destruction everywhere, Hercules keeps his egg safe. Cassandra cooks her egg and eats it in front of everyone else.
  • The trope was featured in the Hey Arnold! episode "Egg Story". Arnold and Helga get paired together and spend the entire assignment arguing, losing the egg in the process twice. The second time they find it, they put aside their differences to work together — and then the egg hatches into a baby chick. The progress of the other students is also followed. Harold and Rhonda are paired together, for example, and she paints their egg to look like it has a baby's face and hair. She leaves to go shopping and Harold, who is apparently channeling Cronos at the time, gets very hungry and eats it. They ultimately turn in the egg shell, taped together.
  • A Kim Possible episode plays on this (and a really bad Meaningful Name joke/pun). Ron is entrusted with a sack of flour, which he's repeatedly forced to replace after a series of slapsticky mishaps. While he lavishes attention on "Sacky I" through "Sacky MCMXXXIIII", (Ron doesn't know his Roman numerals,) he ignores and deplores his new adopted baby sister Hana, whose name happens to mean "flower" in Japanese. In the end, he gets a failing grade because the sack he tries to pass as the one he was supposed to babysit is a sack of sugar.
  • In Life with Louie, Ora thinks she's pregnant and uses eggs to teach Louie and Tommy about babies. Since they think one of them will have to move out to make room for the new baby, they go to great lengths to prove who's more responsible.
  • The Loud House episode "Shell Shocked" has Lincoln and Ronnie Anne assigned to take care of an egg, with Lincoln trying to keep the egg away from Ronnie Anne, believing she will smash it.
  • Subverted on My Gym Partner's a Monkey. The students of Charles Darwin Middle School are given eggs to take care of. The eggs hatch into exotic bird chicks which must then be cared for.
  • In O'Grady, Kevin (the High-School Hustler and The Barnum) babysits everybody else's dolls for money. Abby discovers that he's been reprogramming the dolls' memory chips to record that everything is fine. She responds by reprogramming them to scream twenty-four hours a day.
  • The Penguins of Madagascar had an episode where the gang found an egg and tried to care for it until it hatched. Skipper was initially against it (though as Kowalski correctly points out, incubation of eggs is a guy thing for penguins.'') However, between Skipper's military perspective, Kowalski being a mad scientist and Rico being... Rico, Private was mainly the one who knew what he was doing, though they all did their best. Eventually, the baby was returned to its rightful mother. And then the duckling they hatched showed he had somehow absorbed the traits of the penguins while they were taking care of it.
  • Pepper Ann's class uses actual dolls as a way of teaching the students responsibility. After spending most of the episode failing at being responsible, she leaves a crying "Irma" on Nikki's doorstep. When she gets home, she monologues about how irresponsible she is as she turns off the lights and TV and prepares dinner for her sister. When her mother arrives home and comments on how responsible she is, Pepper Ann retrieves Irma (who stops crying).
  • Phineas and Ferb: In "Perry Lays an Egg", the boys find an egg (that they accidentally knocked out of a tree) that they believe to be Perry's. When Perry disappears, they decide to care for it... to the horror of Candace, whose maternal instincts have been awakened by a nature documentary. She tries to teach them the right way to care for an egg, which apparently involves dressing up in a platypus costume.
  • The Randy Cunningham: Ninth Grade Ninja episode "M-m-my Bologna" has the students of Norrisville High practice parenting with huge bologna sausages.
  • There is a Robot Chicken sketch that inverts this when a pair of sentient eggs are given a human baby to practice parenthood. Once the male student is handed the baby, he drops it onto the floor, where it becomes a bloody mess. The teacher then quips "And there's your F."
  • Rocko's Modern Life: In "From Here to Maternity", Dr. Hutchison, a cat married to a turtle, lays an egg, and has Filburt look after it while she works. Since Filburt has a hard time sitting on the egg to incubate it (since turtles usually bury their eggs in the sand), he gets Heffer, a steer, to sit on it. At the end of the episode, the egg hatches, and as a result, Norbert, one of the four children that Filburt and Dr. Hutchison are blessed with, comes out a steer.
  • In one episode of The Simpsons, Bart gets himself emancipated and moves out due to Homer’s behavior. Homer does not take this well and tries to learn to be a better parent by caring for a bag of sugar. Somehow, the bag of sugar gets switched with a real baby (specifically, Cletus and Brandine Spuckler's baby daughter Rubella Scabies Spuckler).
  • South Park, "Follow that Egg!": In order to spite her former lover, Mr. Slave, Ms. Garrison puts Stan and Kyle together for egg-sitting, expecting them to break their egg — and thus provide evidence against the legalization of gay marriage. When they don't break it, she hires a hit man to kill the egg.
  • Strange Hill High: In "Mitchell Junior". Mr Garden decides to teach the class a lesson in responsibility by getting them to look after electronic babies. Becky's keeps falling to pieces. Mitchell, who is late to class, gets an older model that turns out to be demonically possessed.
  • Cody on Transformers: Rescue Bots is given a robot baby to care for, which ends up having to be saved by the Bots.
  • Trollhunters: In "Just Add Water", Jim and his friends have to babysit sacks of flour for a school assignment while also dealing with the Monster of the Week. All the students give their flour-sack babies Punny Names like "Dwight D. Eisenflour", "Sir Isaac Gluten", and the more subtle "Petunia". All the pairs except for one manage to get their baby killed by the next day.
    Lawrence: I weep for your future children.
  • What's with Andy? has the episode "Daddy" where Andy and his class get paired up and each pair has to look after a robot baby. Lik and Leech get paired up and are very irresponsible "dads", and Andy is paired with Jervis Coltrane, who is actually a pretty decent father despite his smug personality.

    Real Life 
  • A Canadian radio show once had the hosts adopt one of those lifelike electronic dolls when they were still brand-new technology. "Baby Rocko" was dead within the week.
  • Supposedly, one out of each classroom set of the dolls is a "meth baby" or "crack baby" which does not stop screaming. The purpose being to teach kids why they shouldn't do drugs while pregnant. Because the fact it's annoying is way more important than the fact a child's in pain.
  • Tamagotchi, simulated pets contained in egg-shaped digital devices, must be "cared for" by their owners periodically, making them a purely-recreational version of this trope.
  • Sometimes done in British schools with the intention of deterring under-age pregnancy. However in one school, it was discovered that the subjects were diligently cheating the test by — as soon as they got home — unscrewing the battery compartment in the doll and taking the batteries out, then effectively chucking the doll in a corner and forgetting about it until it was time to keep up the public pretence at school the next morning. In one case, the girl's father took the batteries out himself, and used them to replace the spent ones in the TV remote control.
  • This school used robot babies that had to be "fed" periodically with a key chained to the student's wrist, to prevent them from fobbing off the job to someone else. They also screamed and cried for a long time if the students let their heads snap back. Unfortunately, one student decided the best way to silence it was to smash it with a hammer (and his dad joined in on this).
  • According to this NPR article, the idea of "eggsitting" may have originated from the Philadelphia-based organization Education for Parenting, which used egg babies at local schools in the 1980s to teach kids compassion and responsibility.


Batman Beyond - The Eggbaby

Terry McGinnis has to take care of a futuristic Eggbaby to avoid failing a Family Studies class.

How well does it match the trope?

4.92 (13 votes)

Example of:

Main / EggSitting

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