Every pregnant Sitcom character must attend a Lamaze natural childbirth class, usually with the male character least suited for the position as her coach/partner (as the natural father, or most responsible friend was supposed to do it but had a last minute problem that had to be dealt with first). In the event that the natural father is her Lamaze coach, it usually serves to highlight that he is either a Panicky Expectant Father or a Bumbling Dad...or both. What results is the usual total disaster as the flustered male screws up in every possible way. It usually leads into a Screaming Birth later in the season.
This page may include unmarked spoilers regarding characters' relationships. Beware.
- Mentioned in Bone; A Zany Scheme of Phony Bone's had him starting something called The New Age School of Lamaze and Bungy-Jumping. Smiley Bone, who is typically the one to help Phoney with his schemes, mentions that even he thought it was a dumb idea.
- The preview for Archie Marries Veronica: Part 3: It's Twins! specifically promise Archie getting into Lamaze class hijinks.
- When Robin's girlfriend realizes she's pregnant from her last relationship, he disguises himself as Alvin Draper to attend Lamaze class with her — because going in mask and cape would be a wee bit conspicuous, and he's ready to play father to her baby, but not allowed by Batman to let her know his real name. (And no, the "other boy" who is actually responsible for her condition is not Tim-by-yet-another-name.)
- Doonesbury for Monday 13 July 2015 has Joanie Redfern enrolled in a Lamaze class. Her husband, Rick, arrives late and unprepared, for which he's bawled out. The neighboring couple remark that they'd thought Joanie was an unwed mother until Rick arrived.
- In the Little Cherub series by Beautifulpurpleflame, Raven attends natural-born class twice - because the first time, the child was a drunken accident and she ran away, so the second time, "Beast Boy insisted on having the whole pregnancy experience and guilted her into going again".
- In the third The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants book, Carmen's stepfather is unable to make it to her mother's Lamaze class, so Carmen herself steps in. (And then it's Tibby who's with Christina when she gives birth.)
- In the historical novel Red Plenty by Francis Spufford, a pregnant woman in the Soviet Union circa 1960 attends a psychoprophylaxis class (a Soviet-invented predecessor of Lamaze) but the inept Soviet bureaucracy ensures that the women are not properly instructed in the method; for instance they're told that drugs are a capitalist delusion.
- Family Ties: Alex fills in as coach for a single woman named Donna during Lamaze class in the Keatons' living room. He later, in typical Alex fashion, goes way over the top and becomes obsessed with his impending "fatherhood".
- Full House: Jesse does his best to dodge Becky's pregnancy-induced mood swings. When Becky's Lamaze instructor, Lisa Green, holds a Lamaze class in the living room with Jesse and Becky and some of their friends who are soon to become parents, Joey and Danny compete for Lisa's affections.
- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Had one of these. Phil is unable to take Vivian to her Lamaze class, and her own children welch out as well. This leads Will to attend, where he picks up one of the other mothers (who turns out to be his favorite sportswriter). The episode ends with her (the writer) giving birth in the back of a limo, on the way back from a sports game. Will assists.
- Friends: the pregnant Carol is the one unable to attend, so the classes are taken by her ex-husband Ross and her girlfriend Susan. Hilarity Ensues as the two argue over which of them should be the "woman".
- Roseanne has the title character playing birth coach to her friend Crystal. Also has an example of a Screaming Birth when Roseanne has a Flashback to D.J.'s birth.
- Murphy Brown
- On Night Court when Christine was pregnant, she attended a class with Harry, Dan and Bull. During the class, Christine has imagine spots of what each of them would be like as a father figure to her child. At the end, she asks Roz to be her coach going forward.
- Reno 911! had one of these, though the humor mostly came from Paul Rudd as the uncomfortably hands-on instructor.
- In the Heat of the Night - not a sitcom, but played for warm fuzzy laughs anyway. Officer Bubba Skinner must fill in as Althea Tibbs' coach as her husband Detective Virgil Tibbs is away on assignment.
- The Aussie version of Kath and Kim had a variant: Brett (the father) has used Kim's beanbag for a sympathy pregnancy, forcing Kim to use Sharon as a beanbag at the class.
- Malcolm in the Middle had the three boys attend one of these classes, it was about the only time in the series all three of them actually learned something together.
- Surprisingly averted on The Secret Life of the American Teenager, considering there have been three pregnancies in three seasons. It gets a mention with the first pregnant girl, Amy. When she's in labor at the hospital, she says she was supposed to go to the class next week. It's never brought up with the other pregnant characters.
- In the fourth season of Desperate Housewives, Susan and Mike go to Lamaze class... only to find that her ex-husband is also attending the class with his new wife. Awkward.
- Happened on Mama's Family, with Mama being Naomi's coach. Impatient to get out of the class and go to her bingo game, Mama decides to get brutally honest with the expectant mothers about the horrors of childbirth, including describing her favorite "breathing technique": "Inhale...AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"
- When her pregnant daughter won't go, the title character Reba goes with the baby's father, and he winds up being the 'mommy'. Naturally, Reba's ex-husband and his new wife are there as well.
- In Will & Grace, the two attend one for Grace's pregnancy.
- Possibly one of the best variants of this happened on The L Word, where transgender Max and his boyfriend attended a supremely awkward lamaze-or-similar class involving a visibly pregnant and visibly male Max.
- Earl and Fran went to a Lamaze class in Dinosaurs. Earl wondered why they had to so since their baby is going to come from an egg. What's more, the administrator says there's no refund.
Earl: I spent two hundred bucks for this and my butt is falling asleep!
- Mentioned (but unfortunately never seen) in The X-Files, in which Mulder goes to Lamaze class with Scully. He jokingly demonstrates as she's getting ready to go, and Scully asks him how he knows all of this. He responds with "Hey, I'm unemployed. I've got a lot of time on my hands. Oprah. I watch a lot of Oprah." Too bad we never got to actually see the class; Mulder going to Lamaze would have surely been amusing.
- Also mentioned but never seen on CSI: NY. Danny mentions taking it with Lindsay.
- In Boy Meets World, Eric fills in for his father at one of these classes during his mother's fourth pregnancy, and then when his dad arrives he becomes the partner of another woman in the class whose husband is off in the navy. Hilarity Ensues, naturally, because Eric is The Ditz.
- In the UK version of Whose Line Is It Anyway?, one game of Party Quirks had Josie Lawrence as someone thinking the party is actually this.
- Coupling had one in the season 4 episode "Circus of the Epidurals," when all the main characters show up to support each other in their support for Susan, or something. Highlights included the class being taken by Jayne's ex-therapist from "Inferno," who is less than thrilled to have to deal with her again, and Patrick turning out to have slept with all the expectant mothers.
- ER: Fellow nurse Malik offers to be Carol Hathaway's coach, though it's her friend Dr. Mark Greene serving this role when the day comes (and we never see the classes).
- Midnight Caller: Jack and Devon attend one in the third season, after Devon gets pregnant. She tells the teacher Jack is her husband to avoid having to explain the truth.
- Lucifer (2016): When Linda gets pregnant in season four Maze volunteers to join her at Lamaze Class. During the class they watch a birthing video to prepare themselves. As the other mothers wince at the proceedings Maze happily munches on snacks.
Instructor: Any questions?
Maze: Yeah, can we see the part about the torn perineum again, please?
- Bill Cosby's classic stand up routine, "Natural Childbirth".
- Sinbad's Guide To Life had Sinbad and his wife attending Lamaze class and being the best in the class. But as Sinbad said, "that whole breathing thing didn't last when the real deal came, though."
- Robert Klein featured this on "Child Of The '50s, Man Of The '80s."
- Dara Ó Briain described attending a new-age Lamaze seminar with his then-pregnant wife in his show "This is the Show". Neither he nor his wife, a surgeon, were particularly impressed with the coach's holistic "don't let the doctors near you!" approach. Behold: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khfJ-HB12Z0
- Robin Williams parodied the entire idea in one of his earliest comedy routines with the claim that he and his wife were using "LeMans" instead of Lamaze, where the birth is styled after Grand Prix racing, complete with Jackie Stewart providing commentary.
- Jeff Foxworthy went to a Lamaze class where the teacher said, "Now, after your wife's water breaks, do not have sex." Jeff raised his hand and asked, "Is this really a problem?"
"That's a sensitive husband, isn't he? 'So, just how far apart are the contractions, sweet thing? Seems like a shame to waste this semi-private room.'"
- Featured in the Home Movies episode "Coffins and Cradel's". Brendon is his stepmom's Lamaze coach. Ironically leading into a screaming birth in the same episode.
- Featured in an episode of Rocko's Modern Life. Rocko, Heffer, and Filbert are tending to Filbert's egg for his wife, and they are at a baby-things store. The store offers Lamaze classes, and all the other expectant couples are chickens. It turns out the class was a scam by a bunch of Easter Bunnies to steal the eggs.
- In the American Dad! episode "Surro-Gate", Francine, carrying Greg and Terry's future daughter, attends Lamaze with them and Stan. Francine does the exercises, while Greg hyperventilates.