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Het Is Ew

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"The world of the heterosexual is a sick and boring life!"
Aunt Ida, Female Trouble

Some people are fans of Slash — the Shipping of two same-sex characters from a fandom together. Some people take this a little further though; they don't just like Slash but also dislike the idea of Shipping two opposite sex people together, even if those doing the shipping are themselves straight. Indeed, it's wrong to think that only LGBT fans invoke this trope when they themselves are also open to het ships.

This is a subculture-within-a-subculture. This can range from people who merely prefer to pair off every character they like with another of the same sex to the more extreme people who appear to argue that writing slash is a politically liberating act. Queer fans, for example, may have an averse reaction to the heteronormativity of the media and respond by augmenting queer representation in a work. note  Occasionally it can be an unexpected by-product of backlash against the addition of Mary Sue Original Characters, or authors pairing up the male characters who are perceived to be more interesting than the female ones. note  When males began taking up writing fanfiction more, they often did the same for female/female pairings against the background of Wish Fulfillment and Harem fics, especially if they perceived the main male character to be a blank slate. This led to a widespread perception among Fan Fic writers that Slash Fic is automatically of "higher" quality than a het pairing, which was often assumed to be the (usually female) author's Wish Fulfillment.


The extreme versions are the kind who write hate mail to authors for daring to give their shipped characters an opposite-sex spouse and impose Die for Our Ship on any opposite-sex character who so much as has sexual tension with one of "their" characters, often in the most sadistic and humiliating ways. Other times, people proclaiming that Het Is Ew are just tired of the ubiquity of het romance plots in all variety of fiction and the tropes that go with them, particularly the stereotyping of everyone involved. (Ironically, said heteronormative romance dynamics frequently show up in the slash genre as well, with one character still playing a stereotypical male role, while the other takes a stereotypically female one, sometimes up to getting pregnant. The Butch and Femme dynamic is also popular in Yuri ships with the same roles mentioned showing up everywhere.) The sentiment is also somewhat common among jaded and vengeful subsets of queer/trans people, who take to describing straight characters with the same disdain that queer relationships are often treated with. Despite this, the intensity of the extremists has been known to scare artists away or make them outright refuse to draw yaoi or yuri (or at least force them to write under a different name).


Counterintuitively, there may be a homophobic element to this trope in some cases; straight people who subscribe to the notion may feel that their own sexuality is threatened if they find a work that includes a member of their own sex arousing, and this is most common with males who invoke Het Is Ew. This is one of the reasons for the prevalence of lesbian porn aimed at straight men; male viewers don't need to worry about being turned on by another guy. On the flip side, there is also an air of misogyny with people (ironically mostly women this time) who endorse Het Is Ew since not only are female-female pairings much rarer than male-male ones note , the women in het ships get the most hate and slash pairings often kill off or demonize the female characters in order to enable ships with men only.

There's also a case for elements of biphobia, where romantic relationships involving characters of the opposite sex are attacked or invalidated as heteronormative for being mutually exclusive with the capacity for same-sex attraction, even when one or more of the characters involved is already canonically bisexual.

Finally, misandry is also an arguable factor, as there is the assumption that a male cannot have emotional closeness to anyone - even family members - without sex being a factor. Another related assumption is, in a way, a gender-inverted example of the Madonna–Whore Complex: men cannot be physically attracted to someone of the opposite sex and treat her with respect like any other human being without reducing her to her appearance, the implication being that any degree of genuine respect or goodwill a man may have towards a woman only counts as such if he was never heterosexual in the first place. This sentiment is also why men tend not to show up in Yuri fanfics alongside some benevolent misogyny, as many straight males can internalize the falsehood that their attraction to women is based on lust while lesbian relationships are "purer" and more "authentic" because Women Are Wiser and All Women Are Prudes. Thus, you'll often hear the memetic claim that "Yuri is the purest form of love" amongst male anime fans, with varying degrees of seriousness from those who espouse it.

For fanfic writers who are not interested in the extremist hate invested in Die for Our Ship, they instead often Ship the person "in the way" with a different person in the cast who is the same sex as them; i.e., if they Ship Bob and Dave, but Alice is Bob's Canon girlfriend, they write fics about Alice realizing she actually loved her best friend Carol all along, rather than about Alice dying in a house fire. This isn't universally true, but it's not uncommon, either. Basically, when these fans write Fan Fic, Everyone Is Gay.

It's worth noting that this is a fan-reaction Trope, dealing with the preference of a number of slash and yaoi or yuri fans to read about only homosexual relationships. It's not about in-universe anti-heterosexual feelings expressed within a work of fiction.

Depending on what circles you run in, this can actually be a joke, usually about why they don't write "gen" ("general") fic.

See also Het. Not at all related to finding the Dutch ungendered equivalent of "the" ugly or disparaging the Russian word for 'No'.note  Pre-pubescent boys may feel Girls Have Cooties, but that usually changes when they're older and tend not to be attracted to each other, as love itself in all forms is girly to them.

In-Universe examples only please, and remember, this is about a specific attitude towards heterosexuality, not just homosexual pairings.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Vandread, the main characters are from two different planets, one male and one female. They find the idea of even working together distasteful, let alone anything more intimate than that. Well, there is one girl who wants to have a baby with one of the males, but it's just from the fame it would give her. She clearly doesn't understand the mechanics.
  • The H-series Priapus has Zeus in this mindset, believing that overpopulation and conflict can be stopped if humans would just stop breeding. He sends out a priapus to turn the world's men gay, but Tarou himself doesn't care about all of that; he mostly uses the mission to have sex with already gay men and even helps a couple of closeted ones out.
  • In Yuri Danshi, the protagonist hates the idea of hetero pairings because he thinks men (himself included) are filthy creatures that will ruin a girl's natural relationship with other girls.
  • Kiss Him, Not Me plays this for laughs; the basic premise is that Kae Serinuma, a hardcore fujoshi, emerges from a week-long seclusion over the death of her favorite anime character to find that her unintentional starvation diet has made her really hot, attracting a Reverse Harem of four local cute boys (and a fellow fujoshi who happens to be a bifauxnen)... much to her horror because, as the title says, she finds heterosexual shipping disgusting and would much rather be perving over her would-be lovers hooking up with each other instead.

    Comic Strips 
  • Tom Tomorrow's strip This Modern World had one strip set centuries in the future, where straight people were referred to as "breeders." A parade of straight activists is chanting "We're straight—we mate—get used to it!" One man, watching this, mutters "Perverts," shuddering.

    Fan Works 
  • Fallout: Equestria:
    • Due to the limited amount of food that can be produced on clouds, the Grand Pegasus Enclave tacitly encourages homosexuality to keep the population numbers down.
    • In the spin-off Fallout: Equestria - Project Horizons two gay characters (male and female) treat a joking suggestion for them to have sex with utter disgust. A while later they both get drunk...
  • A Brief History of Equestria: Sullamander, head of the Pegasi armies, who it is implied had something going on with her S.O. when she was a filly. Twilight Sparkle insists, and repeatedly at that, that this is merely the viewpoint of easily duped scholars who clearly cannot bother doing their research. To clarify, she attempted to pass a ludicrous law that would have severely penalized heterosexual liaisons and the potential offspring. Fortunately, she rescinded it when informed that passing such a law would constitute high treason against the Pegasus Junta, punishable by summary execution. (Only heterosexual intercourse produces offspring, and no offspring would mean no future generations of pegasi, so the law would have resulted in their race going extinct.)
  • Marik in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series is shocked when Odion suggests that Yugi loves Téa rather than Joey.
    Marik: What?! No way, that's insane! What kind of messed-up fanfics have you been reading?

    Films — Live-Action 

  • The Wanting Seed by Anthony Burgess has this as its main trope. Long story short, Earth is overpopulated and gay people don't breed, so heterosexuals face discrimination everywhere.
  • The surviving veterans of Joe Haldeman's The Forever War find themselves in a society where everyone is both gay and a uniform shade of light brown. This began as a government policy of encouraging homosexuality as a method of limiting population growth and became the standard once humanity began reproducing exclusively via Uterine Replicators. One female character at this point even mentions thinking about men's genitals in contact with her makes her mildly disgusted. They offer to switch the main character's orientation through minor surgery, but he declines, knowing that his orientation is incompatible with everyone which forces him to live in abstinence. The soldiers under his command take to nicknaming him "the old queer."
  • One Dave Barry column has California ban straight marriage in its effort to be the most liberal of states.
  • Some of the SF works of Eleanor Arnason feature an alien race called the hwarlath, who only reproduce by artificial insemination. They consider heterosexuality to be a disgusting perversion, and whenever it happens it's treated as a scandal that has to be managed and hushed up. Also, whenever human works of literature are performed or published, they are heavily rewritten to get rid of the heterosexuality, as well as to make it conform to other aspects of hwarlath cultural values.
  • Tales of the Jokka: Heterosexual relationships are taboo in jokka society because anadi are highly susceptible to the Mind Death during childbirth. Reproductive sex is considered an unpleasant but necessary duty to one's House and jokka are expected to find companionship among their own sex.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Ellen episode "It's a Gay, Gay, Gay, Gay World!", Spence gets knocked out and dreams he lives in a world where homosexuality is the norm and heterosexuals are closeted and ridiculed. Ellen and the other characters accidentally enter a straight bar and then proceed to crack each other up by making fun of how straight people dance.
  • A Mr. Show sketch is about two parents who try to out their gay son. The son, however, insists that he's not gay and gets upset with them for trying to do this. His reaction upsets his mother and infuriates his father, which leads to them bringing in "Rodrigo" to try and gay him up.
    Father: YOU GAY BASTARD! No gay son of mine is a "not-gay!" You better get gay or I'll make you gay!
  • Brian Kinney seems to have this attitude in the US version of Queer as Folk. Though it's more that he has a dislike/distrust for heterosexuals because he thinks they are all homophobic (either openly or secretly).
  • Jack in Will & Grace, which is Played for Laughs. In one episode, he says that if God had intended for men and women to be together, he would have given women penises.
    • In one episode, Jack has a panic attack when he becomes slightly aroused by a female stripper's lap dance. He learns the stripper is trans and he takes comfort in the Unfortunate Implication that she's not a "real woman".
  • Invoked/referenced in QI (of all places). In her guest appearance (episode "Films and Fames"), Emma Thompson mentioned that one of her hobbies at uni was locking her dear friend Stephen Fry in and descending the stairs naked, shaking her breasts. Fry, besides being quite proper, is quite gay, and this spectacle "terrified" him (which she naturally found hilarious). Later that episode, Fry asked if Thompson shaved her pubic hair (the matter having come up in the banter), and she asked if he wanted to see, leading him to recoil in horror.
  • On Orange Is the New Black, Nicky (a lesbian) impersonates a male plumber trying to seduce a female client. When Alex (also a lesbian) grimaces, Nicky replies, "What? Too hetero?"
  • Misandric Butch Lesbian Straw Feminist Sam "Predatory Lez" is introduced into Scream Queens (2015) talking about how heterosexual sex is disgusting.
    Sam: Look, I'm not saying that all heterosexual sex is rape, I'm saying all heterosexual sex is gross and that deep down, every woman knows this.
  • A Bit of Fry and Laurie: The sketch "Judge Not" goes from using an accusation of lesbianism against someone to saying that all attraction toward women is bad.
  • The Orville: In "Deflectors" it's revealed that — keeping with the all-male society Moclans enforce — their culture has no tolerance for opposite-sex attraction. One is revealed to be straight or bisexual (it's unclear if he was ever actually attracted to Bortus, or simply used him as cover), and it causes his apparent murder. In addition, their laws punish acting on or expressing attraction for the opposite sex with life in prison. The episode ends with Locar facing this punishment.

    Tabletop Games 
  • A card from Twilight Sparkle's Secret Shipfic Folder has this to say (for bonus points, the couple depicted is Chrysalis and Discord, both villains Twilight dislikes):
    "I don't know, I just think het couples are boring..." — Twilight's Secret Diary, Volume XIX

  • The entire premise for Zanna, Don't!. Somehow, all of human history had been like this. It's... weird.

    Web Comics 
  • Moon Over June:
    • Summer finds it repulsive that anyone would ever engage in heterosexual sex; however, this is mostly because she is a raging misandrist who finds gay male porn almost as disgusting.
    • Hatsuki is a straighter example (no pun intended), having a large collection of gay male porn and a strictly lesbian love life. She doesn't seem particularly grossed out by het sex, it just isn't her thing. At one point we see her working a phone sex line for some extra cash and not being unduly put off by a male customer.
  • Zii in Ménage à 3 enjoys watching porn for the cheesy dialogue and absurd situations, but she only likes either lesbian or gay porn. She finds het porn's focus on "money shots" rather distasteful.
    Zii: [after flicking some soda into Gary's face] Now imagine that but warmer, sticky, and stinging your eye.
  • Manly Guys Doing Manly Things has a variation that's more like "Only Being Attracted to One Sex is Ew": The guests at Commander Badass's barbecue — almost all of whom are either canonically bisexual or are Commander Shepard, whose sexuality is dependent on the player — react this way when Mad Max makes a homophobic comment.
    Mad Max: You might talk a big huggy-feely left-wing kumbaya game, but we all know if your son came home with a dude, you'd be changing your tune.
    Commander Badass: Ha ha, whut? Y'honestly think I never picked up a guy?
    Mad Max: Wait, you mean you have?
    Big Boss: You mean you haven't?
    Commander Shepard: Not to judge, Max, just saying, that seems kind of unnatural.
    Hercules: It's not that weird, maybe he just hasn't found the right guy yet!

    Western Animation 
  • Tripping the Rift centered an episode around a planet that pretty much had this as its Hat, to the point where heterosexuality, bisexuality, or any of the many other available options out there in the great big universe was punishable by death.
  • Rick & Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple in All the World have had plenty of this, playing it for laugh, especially from resident Fag Hag Condie Ling (who uses the term "breeder").
  • Drawn Together shows an alternate future where Wooldoor's show has turned most of the world gay, and the "breeders" have been driven underground.
  • South Park:
    • After immigrants from the future take all the town's jobs, the men of South Park decide the best course of action is to have a massive gay orgy, hoping to turn every man in the world gay and thus prevent any future generations from being born. They do this until learning the episode's Green Aesop and start working to clean up the environment so that the future will be a nicer place to live and people won't want to come back to the present. This actually works, and the future people start fading out of existence, but the townsfolk soon decide that cleaning up the environment is even gayer than the gay orgy, and promptly go back to that.
    • Played With in "South Park is Gay," when the metrosexual craze hits South Park and all the boys and men except Kyle begin dressing and acting in a stereotypically Camp Gay manner, without being actually gay. Kyle is mercilessly teased by all his friends for not acting metrosexual, and "straight" replaces "gay" as the go-to schoolyard insult.
  • Played with in an episode of King of the Hill. Luanne and Bill begin working at a trendy new hair salon, but the salon doesn't hire straight men so Bill had to pretend to be Camp Gay to get a job there. The two of them quickly become the most popular stylists at the salon, and Bill's clients even mention how "unfortunate" it is he's gay and how they'd love to have a boyfriend like him. The minute Bill admits he's not gay, everyone becomes immediately disgusted. To them, he was "interesting and unique" when he was gay, but now that he's straight he's just a "sleazy barber".
  • In one episode of The Simpsons, after Homer becomes a priest and marries every gay couple in Springfield (for money), he initially mocks the idea that he should marry straight couples.
    Homer: What's that thing called when a guy is gay for a girl?
    Marge: Straight!
    Homer: [mincing around] Ohooo, look at me, I'm so straight and normal!
    • Deconstructed in Season 22's "Flaming Moe", where Smithers experiences depression at not being included in Mr. Burns's will, so he joins his friends in trying to go to a new gay bar, only to experience discrimination from trendy, hipster gays when he's denied entrance for not being attractive, fashionable or gay enough to meet their social standards. Smithers goes to Moe's Tavern and asks Moe Szyslak if he could open a bar that catered to nerdy, less attractive gays like himself and others that have been treated as social misfits. Moe decides to change his bar to cater to gays with Smithers as a business partner, pretending to be gay, mainly to profit from giving them what they want. Moe's new bar becomes so popular, he decides to run as Springfield's first openly gay council member. Smithers demands that Moe proves he's really a "Ho-Moe" by asking Moe to kiss him on the lips. Moe tries to pucker up, but he chickens out and confesses that he's not gay, and was just in it for the money. After the angry crowd leaves, Moe feels he has nothing else to lose, so he kisses Smithers once for the hell of it, and says "Like frisbee golf, I'm glad I tried it once."
  • Played for laughs in one episode of Teen Titans Go!: the Titans have their reasons why Aqualad and Terra shouldn't be dating, with Cyborg's reason in particular being this trope.
    Beast Boy: (to Aqualad and Terra) You two have nothing in common!
    Robin: Yeah, he's about water, she's about rocks.
    Raven: He's a hero, she's a villain.
    Cyborg: He's a boy, she's a girl.


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