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Out Giving Birth, Back in Two Minutes

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We asked no social questions — we pumped no hidden shame —
We never talked obstetrics when the Little Stranger came
Rudyard Kipling, The Three-Decker

The opposite of Screaming Birth. When a show wants to avoid showing a woman's labor and delivery, usually because it would be unsuitable for the format (too graphic for a children's show, too serious for a comedy), birth becomes as simple as going offscreen. One quick trip to the hospital — or a bedroom, or a phone booth, or even Behind the Black — and Baby is here.

Rarely Truth in Television for human mothers, though childbirth can be relatively quick and painless. While the shortest recorded time for an American woman in labor in the last hundred years with both the child and the mother surviving is 23 minutes, the national average is just over six hours. Labor and delivery are hard enough on mother and baby when things are proceeding normally; a faster delivery means even more stress, so shorter is not necessarily better.

Can cross with Born in an Elevator, though that trope is usually accompanied by a Screaming Birth and should be added to the appropriate page.

Usually appears in conjunction with Clean, Pretty Childbirth. Not to be confused with Express Delivery, where the course of a character's pregnancy takes much less time than it should. Compare Instant Birth: Just Add Labor!, where the labor and delivery happen in-show but progress faster than they do in Real Life.


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    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, a woman gives birth while standing at a sink, washing the dishes.
    Woman (glances down, then asides to one of her other children): "Could you get that for me, dear?"
    • Almost the exact same joke was used on Family Guy.
  • In The House Bunny, there is a girl who is pregnant, and towards the end, the sorority is fighting for recognition. The pregnant girl is wheeled back in still in her hospital bed, with a baby wrapped in a pink blanket. (Which is counted as a member of the sorority.)
  • In Crybaby, Pepper Walker gives birth in the back seat of a car that is in the middle of a game of high-speed chicken. The whole thing takes about three minutes to resolve.
  • In Legion, a baby boy is being delivered within minutes after the mother goes into labor. She recovers just as quickly from it.
  • In the film Perfume, Grenouille's mother gives birth to him while standing at her outdoor shop's counter. While a customer is there. It takes her just a minute to pump him out, and the confused customer only wonders for a short while why this woman was suddenly collapsing and screaming.

  • Irish pirate queen Grace O'Malley reputedly had a baby belowdecks during combat, and still managed to join the fight not long after, pistol in hand, and screaming at her crew (and opponents) to "keep quiet, or you'll wake the baby."

  • An Arthur C. Clarke story had the protagonist's wife birth their child unassisted in the morning, then she cleaned up and prepared dinner.
  • In the early Berenstain Bears book The Berenstain Bears' New Baby, which features the birth of Sister Bear, Papa and Small (soon to be Brother) Bear go out in the morning with Mama seeing them off, pregnant but not yet in labor. They come home that night to find Sister already born and Mama up and about taking care of her. Averted in the later book The Birds and the Bees and the Berenstain Bears, which features the birth of Honey Bear and gives Mama a more realistic pregnancy and hospital delivery.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Zig-Zagged Trope in Friends. In "The One Where Rachel Has a Baby", Rachel's own labor lasts for so long that she shared the room with four different women who delivered their babies more quickly. One of them didn't even reach the room, and gave birth right in the aisle.
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Child". This is justified by the fact that Troi's pregnancy is the result of the manifestation of a powerful energy being. Also acknowledged in-universe.
  • Averted in Lost, one of the few times in TV that labor takes a long while as it should. Labor can take days on occasions.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Implied in one Calvin and Hobbes strip, in which Susie and Calvin are playing house. Susie walks in the door, saying, "I stopped by the hospital on the way home from work!" and reveals their new baby. Of course, this could be justified by the fact that these are two six-year-old kids who likely wouldn't understand how giving birth actually works.

    Religion and Mythology 
  • In Greek Mythology, Leto gave birth to Artemis without any pain, and due to Rapid Aging, Artemis was then able to be a midwife for her twin brother Apollo the next day. Naturally, Artemis becomes the goddess of childbirth (among other things).

    Standup Comedy 
  • In a routine on the subject of birth, Jeff Foxworthy mentions how the shortest amount of time a woman can spend in the hospital post-birth is six hours, which he imagines playing out as a woman grunting, popping out the kid, and calling to her husband "Grab the kid and let's go, Randy! I got a wash t'do!"

  • In Arsenic and Old Lace, Officer O'Hara mentions that his mother, a stage actress, gave birth to him in the dressing room at the end of the second act, and then made the finale.

    Video Games 
  • A female dwarf in Dwarf Fortress will give birth in the middle of a task, pick up the baby and go right back to what she was doing.
    • Not quite a straight example on account of DF suffering from a fairly extreme case of Video Game Time.
  • In The Sims 2, a woman (or man) will give birth after a bit of labor pain and then be ready to go to work the same day. It may be due to Video Game Time of course, and the parent can choose to stay home and use her (or his) maternity leave to care for the baby.
    • In The Sims 3, they can go to the hospital if they want, but it's no trouble for them to drive, walk, or bike there on their own when the baby is already ready to pop out.
  • Stardew Valley: If you have a heterosexual marriage and have agreed to have children, you/your wife will have the birth taken care of late one night at an unspecified hospital, with no complications and no prior signs of pregnancy. (If you have a homosexual marriage, a representative from the adoption agency will show up with a kid instead. Yes, in the middle of the night.)
  • If you romance Aerie in Baldur's Gate 2, she becomes pregnant at some point, and may very well give birth during combat. At which point she casts a few healing spells on herself (being a cleric), straps her son onto her back, and gets right back into the fray.


    Western Animation 
  • Futurama:
    • In "Why Must I Be A Crustacean in Love?", Zoidberg's hormonal rampage is so terrifying to a group of pregnant woman that it causes one of them to suddenly and instant give birth. When a request for a doctor causes Zoidberg to pop back back into the room, several more women do the same.
    • Used in "The Luck of the Fryrish", subverting Screaming Birth where Fry's mother turns out to be screaming at the sports game on the radio.
      Radio: And Grote leans into the pitch. It hits him! The Mets win!
      Fry's Mom: (cheers) This is the happiest day of my life!
      Doctor: Here's your baby, ma'am.
      Fry's Mom: Yeah, OK, thanks.
    • In "Law and Oracle", Chief O'Mannahan excuses herself to "drop a big one", ducks into a bathroom, and emerges roughly a minute later holding a freshly delivered baby with no prior indication that she was even pregnant.
      URL: Mazel tov, Chief. That's a beautiful bathroom baby.
  • Family Guy:
    • In "Stuck Together, Torn Apart", Peter is talking to a very fat woman (one of his ex-girlfriends) when suddenly a baby simply falls out of her, causing her to shout out to her offscreen husband, "You were right! I was pregnant!"
    • In "The Thin White Line", Peter and Brian prank the occupants of a Teen Pregnancy Center by putting their hands in bowls of warm water while they are sleeping. They quickly leave the room and start giggling to each other until the sounds of many crying babies are suddenly heard from offscreen, whereupon they run away (and still get caught offscreen).
  • On King of the Hill, Peggy's flashback to Bobby's birth reveals that she was on so many painkillers that from her perspective, she basically checked into her hospital room, had a wonderful nap, and woke up in the car on the way home a few days later. Obviously not quite Truth in Television.
  • One episode of Peppa Pig has Mummy Rabbit visiting the Pigs after becoming pregnant. When her and the rest of the family go to the hospital when she's ready to give birth, she somehow manages to give birth to twins in under a minute while we see Daddy Rabbit unpacking the luggage from the car for what was going to be their hospital stay.

    Real Life 
  • Female horses are known as the birth-giving queens of the whole animal kingdom, or at least among the animals most people know. There's a saying that goes, "A watched mare never foals," and most horse breeders will agree with this. The minute you leave the mare alone is the minute the foal will hit the ground. Quick foaling is a necessity because of the animal's biology: a horse's placenta detaches at an early stage of foaling, and the foal must come out quickly so it can get oxygen.
    • It's said that sometimes plow mares would just give birth, still in harness, during lunch and be back to plowing right on schedule.
  • Invoked by Bill Maher, who implied that China was closer to seeing birth this way than the United States was.
  • In general, the more times a woman has given birth (not by C-section), the quicker and easier any future births are.