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Old, New, Borrowed and Blue

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Monica: Okay, come on, I can't get married until I get something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.
Chandler: Okay, all right, all right, all right! Okay! [takes a blue sweater in the gift shop] Okay, here's something... here's something blue and new.
Monica: You're so efficient. I love you!
Friends, "The One in Vegas"

An old English tradition describing the four things a bride must carry at her wedding:

Something old,
Something new,
Something borrowed,
Something blue.

The final line "...And a silver sixpence in her shoe" is all but forgotten nowadays, at least in part because sixpence pieces aren't used anymore in Britain and never were in the USA. Some people buy antique coins especially for the purpose (and for considerably more than 6p); whether that also counts towards their Something Old is up for debate. A penny is also used as a substitute.

For Shotgun Weddings, the Something New is the baby (often directly invoked as such).

The Something Blue is usually a ribbon or brooch, or some other minor accessory. Before 1840, blue was the choice colour for wedding dresses as it was the colour for purity (being associated with the Virgin Mary; see True Blue Femininity). The white gown only became popular that year, when Queen Victoria wore a white lace gown for her wedding to Prince Albert and has remained a traditional western wedding costume ever since.

Wedding episodes are frequently named after this, occasionally split into Cross-Referenced Titles for a multi-parter.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • A rare non-wedding example in Bartender in chapters 136 to 143 features "Treasures of the Bar" which uses the same wedding criteria for the purpose of collecting specific mementos as good luck charms for reopening a new bar. This is somewhat a prank by another veteran bartender to the apprentice Tsubasa, because Ryu and Tsubasa opening a new bar together is kinda parallel to starting a new married life together. Even their nameplate has "R&T" in it.
  • Manga series The Embalmer refers to this tradition in its opening episode. The embalmer's client's fiancé is killed in a car accident shortly before the wedding - the embalmer conceals the stitching of the woman's reattached leg with a blue garter (an item also borrowed from a friend) so that when the body is displayed during her funeral it completes a symbolic wedding to offer the client some solace.
  • The Plot Coupons in Wedding Peach, called the "Saints Something Four". Each of the four girls gets one and they become a Holy Hand Grenade in the second Season.

  • Veteran comic Bob Monkhouse was once dismissed as a comedian in possession of a stage routine that was "mainly old, seldom new, often borrowed and sometimes blue".

    Comic Books 
  • Astonishing X-Men: When Northstar and Kyle get married, Northstar's sister Aurora gifts him with his old Alpha Flight pin (something old), season passes to the Habs (something new), and a Northstar bobblehead (something borrowed). Since Beast is officiating, she counts him as the something blue.
  • The Beano: One Ivy the Terrible strip involves Ivy trying to get the four things for a friend's wedding. First she goes into a fish and chip shop to ask for something really ancient and gets chased out. She later gets a vase from an antique shop for something old, and borrows a baby blue whale as something new, borrowed, and blue.
  • Mr. and Mrs. X: Rogue's friends scramble to make sure she has all four in time for her impromptu wedding to Gambit. Old is a pair of earrings Psylocke gifts her, New is a bunch of flowers Jean Grey cuts from the garden, Borrowed is the veil Kitty Pryde wore before bailing on her own wedding. Blue ends up being Rogue's adoptive mother Mystique, although her brother Nightcrawler points out that he's also blue and was right there.

    Fan Works 
  • When Lydia gets married in the Beetlejuice fanfic series Contractually Obligated Chaos, this gets discussed after the fact. While her new dress and blue shoes cover those aspects nicely, the other two are a bit stranger; the groom is her 'something old,' and for 'something borrowed,' she has a library book.
  • Factors into the first installment of the Elemental Chess Trilogy. Winry decides to carry her wrench as her "something old", and it later turns out to be a Chekhov's Gun.
  • In the The Lord of the Rings fanfic Making It Right, the hobbits are shocked that the four things were not present at Aragorn and Arwen's wedding, so they remedy the situation by presenting the things as wedding gifts. 'Something old' is Merry's map of the city, 'something new' is a song Pippin wrote (and sang), 'something borrowed' is a collection of recipes Frodo "borrowed" from Aragorn's mother, and 'something blue' is a bird feeder Sam helped Gimli make.
  • This Gag Sub of The Movie of Mahou Sentai Magiranger has a reference to this trope added to the "script" — after Groom Bridon kidnaps a human girl, Meemy dresses her up in a goth wedding dress and hands a magic ring to Bridon:
    "There's your Something Blue... here's your Something Borrowed."
  • In the Titanic (1997) fic Onwards and Upwards, when Rose is preparing to marry Jack, she receives the following; Rose's wedding dress is new, Molly Brown gives Rose a bracelet Molly received from her own mother, a new friend of Rose's lends her a veil (the bracelet is also borrowed but it was considered cheating for one item to count for two things), and Rose wears the Heart of the Ocean as her "something blue" so that there will be a happy memory linked to the Heart.
  • Skyhold Academy Yearbook: The trope is played straight during Bethany's bridal shower. Her something old is also something borrowed (an antique hair ornament on loan from Josephine), and she gets something new (a sun-shaped pendant from her sister). However, while they do remember to give her a silver coin for her shoe, they completely forget about something blue.
  • Wedding Peach Abridged spoofed this in an Omake, with Momoko thinking it was the penny in the shoe, and telling all the girls to check their footwear.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Disney's Babes in Toyland, Mother Goose is helping Mary Mary Quite Contrary make her wedding dress and recites the "Something old, something new, something borrowed..." Upon which the film's Big Bad shows up, causing Mother's pet goose Sylvester to crack, "Something old and ugly, too!"
  • In the film In Her Shoes, Rose's grandmother lends her - big surprise - a pair of shoes: old, but not to Rose (new), not given to her (borrowed), with little blue decorations on the inside.
  • A plot point in the 1956 psychological thriller A Kiss Before Dying. The sister of a murder victim is able to deduce that her pregnant but unmarried sister's "suicide" had been staged and that she had actually been murdered, when she realizes an odd collection of clothing items her slain sister was wearing included "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue". The sister hadn't gone to kill herself; she had (she thought) gone to marry the father of her unborn child. Instead, the sister's murderous boyfriend lured her to a deserted building on the pretense that they would get married, then pushed her off the roof, having already taken steps to make her death look like a suicide.
  • Something Borrowed: The "something borrowed" is actually the protagonist's best friend's fiancé. Rachel has been friends with Darcy their entire life, despite their vast personality differences. At Rachel's thirtieth birthday party, she ends up spending the night with Darcy's fiancé and realises she's been in love with him for years.

  • The Baby-Sitters Club:
    • In the book Kristy's Big Day, Kristy's mom gets married, and her underwear is her "something blue." Too Much Information.
    • Dawn's mother marries Mary Anne's father and wears blue underwear as her something blue.
  • In the Doctor Who Eighth Doctor Adventures novel The Adventuress of Henrietta Street, the Doctor has to get married because it'll somehow save the world from extra-dimensional baboons. Fitz mentions it's too bad they can't bring the TARDIS into the chapel, because it would count as all four.
  • Fred, The Vampire Accountant: In the sixth book, Undeading Bells, the overarching plot is Fred and Krystal planning their wedding together. Accordingly, the first four section titles are "Someplace Old", "Someone New", "A Partner Borrowed", and "A Place of Blue". note 
  • Little House on the Prairie, These Happy Golden Years: Laura's mother objects to her getting married in the new black dress they are making for her. "Marry in black, you'll wish yourself back!" Laura cheerfully suggests that she can wear it with a blue-lined bonnet that she's owned for several years and her mother's gold brooch, to which Ma Ingalls concedes that there's probably no truth in these old sayings anyway.
  • In The Lunar Chronicles short story "Something Old, Something New," set after the series at Scarlet and Wolf's wedding, Scarlet's dress is new and her shoes are borrowed (from Winter). The "old" is her grandmother's pilot pin, and obviously the most important to her. She was going to skip the "blue," but Winter decides to embroider the word "Alpha" into her dress with blue thread.
  • Emily Giffin's best-selling chick-lit books use the wedding theme in the title: Something Borrowed and its continuation Something Blue.
  • The Twilight Saga: In Breaking Dawn, Bella gets roped into a fancy traditional wedding as a favor to Alice. "Something old" and "Something blue" are the sapphires that Charlie and Renee have put into a set of her grandmother's hair combs, "Something new" is her dress, and "Something borrowed" is Alice's garter.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Played with in a 3rd Rock from the Sun episode in which Sally almost got married. Harry ends up getting her an old guy who plays the blues that he borrowed from the Tip Top Club. When questioned what was new, Harry says the old blues man is his new friend.
    • This followed his first failed attempt where Harry produced an old tire he found in the alley, a new sealed container of Vaseline, a cup of sea salt borrowed from his landlady and a blue Lifesaver candy that was already in his mouth.
  • In an episode of 30 Rock, Liz reluctantly agrees to be one of Cerie's bridesmaids. Cerie then hugs her and cheerfully says "Now I have my something old!"
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine, "Fancy Brudgom": Jake is Charles's best man and he helps him to plan the wedding. When they're choosing clothes, Charles is seen wearing a thong. He claims it's his something borrowed. It's part of the running joke that Charles is very emotional and more like the stereotypical bride in his relationship with his fiancée.
    Jake: Summer linen suit... casual but classic. Actually not bad.
    Charles: One question... can you see my underwear?
    Jake: A thong! Why are you wearing a thong?
    Charles: It's my something borrowed.
  • The Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode where Buffy and Spike get hit by one of Willow's accidental spells and fall madly in love is called "Something Blue".
  • Charmed (1998):
    • In a season one episode, the demon Hecate has to brainwash, marry, and bear the child of a human man so that the child would be a demon who was able to move through the human world unnoticed. But she still gets awfully involved in the wedding planning. When one of her (demonic) bridesmaids gives her a first-edition book as her "something old," Hecate asks about her "something blue," to which the bridesmaid indicates the groom's mother, who had sold him into this arrangement as a Deal with the Devil. Hecate agrees that "Nothing is bluer than a mother who's about to lose her son." "Something new" and "something borrowed" aren't mentioned (unless the book is supposed to count as "old" and "borrowed").
    • At the start of Piper's wedding episode, Phoebe presents Prue with "Melinda Warren's blessing cup," which she'd found in the attic, which was apparently a cup used by their ancestor at her own wedding, and Prue declares it the perfect "something old" for the wedding. Later, when Piper catches them acting secretive (because Prue's subconsciously astral projecting and is wanted for murder), Phoebe declares "You caught us, we're trying to find you something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue," which Piper accepts as an explanation. "New, borrowed, and blue" are never specified.
  • The Cheers episode where Rebecca is about to marry Robin Colcord references this with Lilith giving Rebecca her "something new".
    Rebecca: Now, I just need something old, something borrowed, and something blue.
    Carla: How about Norm's liver?
    Norm: I am almost finished with it.
  • Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman:
    • The townspeople meddle a lot in Myra and Horace's wedding plans, much to the happy couple's distress. Dorothy is excited to have Myra wear her old wedding gown (as her something old, as Colleen points out), though Myra would prefer a pink dress that other saloon girls sewed for her. She has new shoes as something new, and Dr. Mike looks for a lace handkerchief as something borrowed.
    • Dr. Mike's own "something old, new, borrowed and blue" are the following items: an old lace handkerchief from Ireland, given to her by her sister Rebecca, white satin pumps from her adoptive daughter Colleen as something new, pearls from her sister Marjorie as something borrowed ("And I want them back!") and she has a blue cornflower bouquet from Dorothy.
  • Doctor Who: In "The Big Bang", at her wedding to Rory Williams, Amy Pond quotes "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" in regards to the TARDIS, which is all of them. All of this was carefully planned by the Doctor to avoid being permanently forgotten.
  • Frasier: The seventh season finale is titled "Something Borrowed, Someone Blue", alluding to Daphne's turmoil over being torn between her fiance and her newfound feelings for Niles.
  • Friends:
    • When Chandler and Monica decide to get married in Las Vegas on impulse, they shoplift a blue sweater to count as something new, borrowed, and blue. For something old:
      Chandler: I have a condom in my wallet that I've had since I was twelve.
      Monica: That'll work!
      Chandler: I don't think so.
    • Before Chandler and Monica's actual wedding, Rachel reveals she put together a box of momentos for Monica including the blue garter Rachel wore to the wedding she ran out on in the pilot episode. She was hoping Monica would use it as her "borrowed" and "blue".
    • Phoebe gets married outside in the snow - when asked if she's going to be cold, she says, "I don't care. I'll be my something blue!"
  • General Hospital: Michael and Willow get roped into a quick wedding at the Quartermaine house just before Wiley’s custody hearing begins. “Something old“ and “something blue” is the sapphire ring Michael gives to Willow, which originally belonged to his great-grandmother Lila Quartermaine. “Something borrowed” is the white dress Brooklyn gave to Willow after learning she didn’t have anything to wear.
  • The Golden Girls used this a few times.
    • When Dorothy's son Michael elopes with his much-older and pregnant fiancée Lorraine, the mothers and friends make it in time to give them these items: Lorraine's mother Greta offers a periwinkle scarf for the blue, Blanche shares her grandmother's antique earrings for the old, and Dorothy lends her a bracelet for the borrowed (having intercepted Sophia's attempt to give Lorraine a pair of knee-high surgical stockings she borrowed on a bus trip—and is currently wearing). But when they get to "something new," Lorraine proudly rubs her belly and says Michael has already given her that.
    • When Dorothy almost re-marries Stan, she is trying to work this out with Rose and Blanche, and suggests her varicose veins as the "something blue". Sophia, who until this point had refused to support the wedding, appears as the "something old".
  • In Grey's Anatomy's season 5 finale, when Meredith and Derek decide to get married, Cristina gives her an old grocery list, a new Post-it, and her favorite blue pen (which also counts as borrowed, since she wants it back).
  • Home Improvement: Tim organizes a bachelor party for Al, and everyone tells negative stories about marriages. Al begins to doubt his decision to get married. The episode is called "Something Old, Something Blue".
  • How I Met Your Mother:
    • The final two episodes of season 2 that show Marshall and Lily's wedding are titled "Something Borrowed" and "Something Blue".
    • The final two episodes of season 8 that lead to Barney and Robin's wedding are titled "Something Old" and "Something New". In addition, a locket Robin buried in New York as a child to be her "Something Old" when she grows up and what it would mean to find it is a major plot arc surrounding the wedding.
  • Source of much drama in Mad Men, when Roger's second wife gives some very expensive jewelry to her stepdaughter for her wedding.
    Margaret: [in tears] Well, it's blue. And it's new.
  • When Naomi marries Vint on Mama's Family, her wedding dress is her something new, and Mama gives Vint his father's antique sapphire ring as a wedding present, which Naomi uses as her old, borrowed, and blue. Unfortunately, it was also the ring that Eunice had always wanted, prompting her to throw one of her famous hissy-fits in the middle of the ceremony.
  • On The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Ted and Georgette are hastening their wedding plans and trying to throw together a ceremony at the last minute. When asked about what she would wear, soft-voiced ditz Georgette pauses and reflects wistfully, "Well... I'd always dreamed I'd be married in something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue." Beat "But what the hell, we're in a hurry."
  • On The Nanny, Fran's friend Val fails to find her a something blue and she freaks out, resulting in:
    Gracie: Fran, you're choking her!
    Fran: Well, then, at least I'll have something blue, won't I?
  • Once Upon a Time: in a flashback scene in "A Tale of Two Sisters" (the first episode in the Season Four Frozen (2013) arc), as Anna is preparing for her wedding to Kristoff, Elsa presents her with their mother's wedding dress, and adds a snowflake necklace, mentioning the 'something old, something new' trope. Several episodes later, Elsa learns that the pendant contains a Wishing Star. Elsa's wish to be with her sister brings Anna and Kristoff to Storybrooke, just in time to avoid being drowned by order of Prince Hans.
  • In the Petticoat Junction episode "With This Gown I Thee Wed," when Betty Jo and Steve get married, Betty Jo wears old pearl earrings, new perfume, a borrowed cameo brooch, and a blue garter that Uncle Joe got from a dance hall girl.
  • On Roseanne she and Darlene argued about whether Darlene should bother with it; Jackie's failure to adhere to the superstition and subsequent marriage implosion is used as evidence.
  • The Sabrina the Teenage Witch finale has a Running Gag of Sabrina trying to find her four items. Finally they decide her dress counts as New, they paint one of her toenails Blue, Morgan borrows $10 from the flower girl and hands her a bracelet she grabbed from her jewelry box as Old. Unfortunately the bracelet is significant in reminding Sabrina that Harvey is the one she loves, and she runs off with him.
    Roxie: I guess that's the Something Old she needed.
  • The BBC's adaptation of Agatha Christie's The Sittaford Mystery (extensively rewritten from the source material) involves the protagonists realizing that a suspect was married to the murder victim due to the fact she was wearing something old, new, borrowed, and blue the day before.
  • An episode of Top Chef was based around 4 teams, each having to make food based on one of the four categories for a wedding reception.
  • The episode of Torchwood wherein Gwen and Rhys get married is called "Something Borrowed" and in this case, it refers to the alien fetus that Gwen has accidentally had transferred to herself.
  • Used as a joke during the wedding arc in Ugly Betty, in which one character says the bride herself is "something old", to which the bride replies, "Well, with your varicose veins I certainly have something blue."

    Puppet Shows 
  • During Huxley's Villain Song in The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, the villain begins to list off some of the things he hoards in his hideout.
    Huxley: Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, things that once belonged to you, like this plastic telephone? I love this traffic cone, this wedding cake for Jill and Jake, this rake, this giant rubber snake, this Chippendale, don't let it breaaaak! (Crack!)
    Bug: Whoops! It's true! Love is a many-splintered thing!
  • In the episode of The Muppet Show guest-starring Marisa Berenson, Miss Piggy attempts to trick Kermit into marrying her in a wedding 'sketch' that was actually legit. She insists that the wedding be traditional: "Something old, something new, something borrowed... and something green."

    Video Games 
  • Referenced in Animal Crossing, of all things; occasionally the "Perky" animals will ask girl players if they've chosen theirs yet.
  • In the Borderlands 2 DLC Mad Moxxi and the Wedding Day Massacre, Moxxi and the Vault Hunters make a love potion using the recipe "Something new, something old, something borrowed, something gold." They end up using the tears of a baby they kidnapped (something new and borrowed), an aged whiskey (something old), and parts from a golden robot (something gold). At one point, Ellie questions whether the recipe is actually meant to include something blue, referencing the real-world saying, but Moxxi shoots her down, arguing that blue doesn't rhyme with gold; ultimately, it's left ambiguous which of them is correct, since while the potion does rekindle the romance between the bride and groom, it also causes the wedding to go spectacularly off the rails.
  • While not quite a wedding ceremony, a magical ritual in City of Heroes calls for the participation of a old mage, a young witch, a powerful psychic in a borrowed body, and somebody whose name is Cerulean.
  • The Passing campaign in Left 4 Dead 2 parodies this with the Bride Witch by having Rochelle comment "Something new, something old, something borrowed, something about to rip your guts out."
  • Monkey Island:
    • In Escape from Monkey Island, the four heirlooms which are the key to finding the Ultimate Insult are something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue respectively. (They were intended as wedding gifts.)
    • Following a similar scheme in rhyme and purpose (in Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge), in order to make a voodoo doll, you need Something of the Head (dandruff, hair, lice, what have you), Something of the Thread (a thread or cloth sample from the victim's clothing), Something of the Body (spit, phlegm, blood...whatever), and Something of the Dead (a bone or something from a dead relative).
  • Referenced in Mystery Case Files: Escape from Ravenhearst: in order to enter the replica of the gazebo in which Charles Dalimar asked Emma Ravenhearst to marry him, the Master Detective has to find the cranks of four music boxes, each one referencing one of the somethings.
  • In Time and Eternity, the Something Four are based on this and considered legendary treasures guaranteed to bring happiness to those who are worthy of them and the main couple seeks them out in order to use their power to escape a time loop.
  • Occurs in World of Warcraft in the Twilight Highlands zone, where Alliance players must help along a dwarven marriage for political reasons. Of course, being dwarves, the gifts are slightly different, being "something bold, something brewed, something stolen, something stewed".

    Web Comics 
  • PvP had Skull the Troll as the blue thing.
  • Something*Positive had main character Davan give his best friend Aubrey a bruise (blue) when she was freaking out about not having something for it.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In Ben 10: Omniverse episode "Rules of Engagement", we learn that Tetramand brides have to collect four items to present to the groom's parents: something conquered, something bruised, something severed, and something blue. Princess Looma Red Wind, with whom Ben got into an Accidental Marriage in a previous episode, returns and collects Ester (proving she conquered the Kraaho), Julie (who was bruised during the fighting), Fistina's forearm (a robotic arm), and Rook (who has blue on both his armor and fur).
  • The Patrick Star Show: As shown in "Tying the Klop-Knot", Klopnodian wedding dress traditions are for something old, bruised, stuffed, and confused. This winds up being Patrick's grandfather, who had been eating a sandwich and locked in the trunk where Bunny keeps her actual nice wedding dress.
  • A Peanuts cartoon had Snoopy almost getting married to Fifi the poodle. The girls go through the whole process of old, new, borrowed, and blue while helping Fifi dress for the wedding. (They were all bones.)
  • The Simpsons:
    • In the flashforward episode where Lisa marries Hugh (almost), Lisa's pearls are old, her dress is new, she borrows a locket from Hugh's mother, but she can't find something blue. Marge gets a pair of scissors, clips a lock of her hair, and gives it to Lisa.
    • There's also an episode where Bart has to marry Cletus's daughter, who brings the four things to her wedding, although instead of something blue, she has 'something stew.'
  • In the DuckTales (1987) episode "Til Nephews Do Us Part", Scrooge is about to marry a bitchy Gold Digger (and is unaware of her bitchiness; his nephews are of course trying to convince him to no avail), and just before she walks down the aisle, she says, "Something old: my money. Something new: his money. Something borrowed: more money. And something green... ALL the money!"
  • In the Thomas & Friends episode, "Happy Ever After", Percy is asked to help find the "Good Luck Package" at the last minute for the wedding of Mrs. Kindly's daughter. Old Slow Coach was Something Old, a set of buffers right from the factory was Something New, the flat truck the new buffers were on was Something Borrowed, and Thomas of course made an appearance as Something Blue.
  • In the Total Drama episode "Niagara Brawls", Sierra brings up that she has Something Old (Chris), Something New (her wedding dress from the challenge), and Something Borrowed (Cody's toothbrush). She then declares herself to be the "Something Blue", because she's upset that she failed to trick Cody into marrying her because he wouldn't say "I Do" when Sierra was trying to trick him.

"Something old
Something new
Something broken
Something black-and-blue"