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Lazy Husband

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"I know—I've only myself to blame!" she wailed. "My family saw through all those fine promises of yours thirty-five years ago. They warned me you were a loafer and a Lothario, that you'd never lift a finger around the house. Other women have husbands—I've got a cheap facsimile of George Brent, a cluck too lazy to put up a clothesline... I beg you to carry the ashes out of the cellar, to put in a few pothooks, to sweep the leaves off the porch, and what satisfaction do I get? Nyet—all you do is lie there guzzling over your pinups while the moths and silverfish eat us out of house and home."
S. J. Perelman, "Samson Shorn, or The Slave of Love"

A husband who is usually seen lounging around at home while his wife does all the housework, rarely seen getting to relax. She often berates him for being lazy.

Sometimes the Lazy Husband is a bit bossy and expects everyone to wait on him, and sometimes he's just more laid-back. His laziness often extends to work as well.

Depending on who is portrayed as more sympathetic, this could overlap with either Women Are Wiser (if the husband being lazy is emphasized, especially in the cases where he's also lazy at work) or Henpecked Husband (if the wife is portrayed as being overly naggy and bossy — especially if she complains whenever he does something, even if he does it right). Also similar to Bumbling Dad, but this is more about the husband-wife dynamic than just focusing on the dad being stupid (and not all lazy husbands are fathers).

The distaff counterpart of this character, the Lazy Wife, is almost never seen in popular media paired with a diligent, hard-working husband, but is more common when paired with this character.

Contrast Househusband. Also see Men Can't Keep House; Foolish Husband, Responsible Wife; and Guys are Slobs.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Happy Yarou Wedding, Professor Akira Todou is one, especially in the last chapter of the manga. Yuuhi, his "man-wife", outright states that even his obnoxious little brother Kazuki is more useful to have around than him.
  • The episode 26 alternate universe of Neon Genesis Evangelion has Yui gently berating Gendo for being lazy, saying that she'll get complaints from Fuyutsuki if he's late from work. His only reaction is to hum and continue to read the newspaper.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Mabel yells at her husband in Mabel and Fatty's Wash Day (1915) for not doing any of the housework, including the titular wash. This leads her to go on an illicit outing with Fatty, her neighbor, who is a Henpecked Husband who does all of the housework.

  • Played with in A Brother's Price. Keeping house is considered a man's duty, and while a Lazy Husband occasionally exists, most women evaluate a potential husband's housekeeping qualities before they marry him. The abusive Keifer Porter is said to have been very lazy on top of his abuse.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Everybody Loves Raymond, Debra Barone frequently berates her easygoing husband Ray for his failings and general willingness to leave the housework to her. But his father Frank makes him look positively workaholic domestically.
  • Onslow from Keeping Up Appearances is definitely lazy. He is also very intelligent, and his wife doesn't do much work, either, so this might count as a subversion.
  • Doug Heffernan in The King of Queens is another example. His idea of division of labour around the house is that he eats and Carrie washes up after him.
  • Al Bundy from Married... with Children. He is often seen in his trademark couch potato pose - seated on the sofa with one hand stuck under the waistband of his pants. However, Peg herself isn't really much better, though she does try for the sake of appearances.
  • Jim Royle in The Royle Family.
    Barbara: Who's going to make dinner if I'm working?
    Jim: Don't worry we'll wait til you come in.
  • As shown in the page image, the eponymous Kevin of Kevin Can F**k Himself proudly and shamelessly lives up to this trope, leaving all the housework to his put-upon wife Allison. Fitting the series' premise as a Subverted Sitcom and Genre Deconstruction, this trope is torn apart in showing just how tiring and annoying such behavior gets after a while, with Allison becoming increasingly resentful and frustrated with Kevin's continued immaturity and utter refusal to learn even the bare minimum of responsibility after a decade of marriage.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Andy Capp. He is often unshaven, frequently intoxicated (indicated by a prominent red nose and dishevelled clothing), lazy, freeloading, belligerent, and confrontational. Andy is perpetually unemployed and lacks motivation.
  • Leroy Lockhorn of The Lockhorns. The man of the house who drinks a lot, plays golf too much and chases everything good-looking in a skirt.
  • Blondie (1930): Dagwood. Blondie's husband and a kind and loving, yet clumsy, naïve, and lazy man. Dagwood can also often be seen napping on his own couch.

  • In The Adding Machine, Mr. Zero is so Married to the Job that he refuses to do anything for his wife around the house or out of it. She berates him for just sitting on a chair and complaining about how tiring his workday is while she slaves her life away without vacations or pay, but he responds to her harangues with cold silence.

    Western Animation 
  • The Amazing World of Gumball has Richard Watterson, the epitome of this trope, with his wise but workaholic wife Nicole as a foil. In one episode, it's shown that his trying to get a job goes so against the fundamental premises of their world that the universe itself is threatened and his success as a modest deliveryman has to be prevented.
  • Back at the Barnyard has Nora Beady's husband Nathan who just sits on the couch all day and drinks soda.
  • Eustace Bagge from Courage the Cowardly Dog who does nothing but watch TV, read the paper, demand Muriel make him dinner and wait for Courage to save him from various creepy threats yet still Kick the Dog anyways.
  • Ed from Ed, Edd n Eddy says that his father is very lazy. After his dad comes home from work, he just wants to relax, sit on the couch and watch TV. He doesn't care about whatever personal problems Ed and Sarah put up with.
  • Family Guy: An increasing source of friction between Peter Griffin and Lois, especially in later seasons, revolves around Lois being forced to basically run the house, cook, clean and look after the kids by herself, while Peter is off doing whatever random nonsense popped into his head this week. When called on this, Peter either ignores it or becomes defensive, then does whatever he wants anyway.
  • Pete on Goof Troop is often seen lazing about and being nagged by his wife Peg, though generally speaking if he wants something done he'll take advantage of his dimwitted neighbor or his Extreme Doormat son instead of her.
  • Hey Arnold!.:
    • Oskar Kokoschka: He not only does none of the housework, but his wife's also the only breadwinner and he spends most of the money.
    Suzie: You expect everyone else to take care of you!
    Oskar: Susie, I don't expect everyone else to take care of me! Just you.
    • Big Bob has some traces of this as well. When he and Helga go to the supermarket as Miriam is out of town, he is actually surprised none of the food on sale is already prepared.
  • The Simpsons: Homer Simpson could be the posterboy of this trope. He outright refuses to do any housework, spends nearly every minute of free time on the couch with a beer, watching TV, and whenever Marge isn't present and he's left in charge, the house inevitably becomes a total sty. In fact, Homer's ideal existence has been shown to be a life where he literally does not have to move a muscle, as shown when he briefly hides out with Grandpa at the retirement home, and enjoys having the staff feed him and help him move over in bed. On the rare occasions he does do what Marge asks him to, he always screws it up massively.

    Real Life 
  • In India, a proposal to allow both expectant parents to take four months of paid parental leave was defeated for this reason. Women’s groups complained that too many men would treat this “paternity leave” as an extended holiday and just bum around at home, while their poor pregnant wives have to do extra housework to cook and clean after him while also dealing with pregnancy, childbirth and newborn care.


Video Example(s):


Patrick's denial

In "Rock-A-Bye Bivalve", SpongeBob shows Patrick all of Junior's diapers that haven't been put in the garbage as proof that he's overworked. Image and video edits of this scene are popular, where Patrick says something (typically derisive), and SpongeBob showing him several things that go directly against his statement, each increasingly more evident than the one before it.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (32 votes)

Example of:

Main / ParentalNeglect

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