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Panicky Expectant Father

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"My goodness! My gracious!
When will this day be done?
Will it be a girl
Or will I have a son?"
Dexter's Dad, Dexter's Laboratory

When the Delivery Guy is the father of the baby, and has been preparing for this for the last nine months, he's often every bit as badly prepared when the time comes as some random guy would be, and usually a lot less calm. Sometimes he's over-prepared, so that he's still reading his checklist while his wife is having a Screaming Birth, sometimes his mind just goes blank at the thought he's going to be a father. On being told by his partner that the baby is coming, he will often charge off immediately to the hospital only to return a few seconds later to collect said pregnant partner. (It's a comedy trope.) When they finally get to the hospital, expect the wife to have to push said husband into the building in the wheelchair, instead of the other way around, since by this point he's likely fainted, hit his head, or possibly fallen downstairs in a panic.

A fairly modern trope, as older works generally assume that the father will have as little as possible to do with the birth—possibly because if he was there, he'd only be flapping around like a headless chicken. In fact, in olden times, it was strongly frowned upon for men to be present when their wives (or female partners) are in labor, and pretty much anything with pregnancy and childbirth was left largely to the women in society. Until doctors (who were mostly men in olden times) started becoming more involved with pregnancy and childbirth, much of that was handled by midwives (who, even in modern times, are predominantly women). Having a doctor present would probably be the one exception to the general "no men allowed" mentality of the childbirth process—and even then, a doctor would usually only be present in the case of an emergency.

In the United States, it actually wasn't until around the 1970s that it was considered "okay" for men (including the pregnant woman's male partner) to be present during the time a woman was in labor; men, with the exception of medical professionals, were basically all but flat-out banned from most delivery rooms.

Frequently, a father may be given something ostensibly helpful to do by someone more competent, with boiling water and finding clean sheets being fairly common tasks (which may actually be useful). Or, if he's been kept out for whatever reason, he's shown pacing outside the delivery room (quite possibly wearing a groove into the floor); in older stories, he may well be smoking like a chimney — an increasing number of cigarette stubs may be a way to indicate the progress without having to actually show the woman in labor. In either traditional or modern childbirth scenes, once the baby is born, expect various celebratory traditions, including handing out cigars and/or buying A Round of Drinks for the House.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Minato in Naruto. In his case, he's got very good reasons to panic: his wife Kushina is the host of the Kyuubi, and childbirth is the moment in which the seal containing said Sealed Evil in a Can is at its weakest; if it ever broke, Kushina would die and the Kyuubi would be unleashed. And it happened—sort of.

  • Bill Cosby had a bit in his act about how he panics when his wife gives birth.

    Comic Books 
  • Reed Richards was acting a little like this when awaiting his first child's birth (compounded by feared complications caused by Sue's exposure to cosmic radiation and all that), but he had nothing on the guy whose wife was in the next ward, who fainted upon being informed he was now the father of twins.
  • Gaston Lagaffe:
    Fantasio: Well?
    Nurse: It's a plane!
  • Tobias Knopp in one story by Wilhelm Busch, when his daughter is born.
  • Luke Cage gets hit with this in The Pulse when his girlfriend Jessica Jones goes into labor while he's on the other side of town.
  • Preacher: Averted with Tulip's father, who was at the local bar celebrating his soon-to-be son's birth. One hapless guy asks why he's so sure it'll be a boy and gets laughed at by the rest of the bar crowd. Then the hospital calls, and it turns out his wife died and the baby's a girl.
  • In Robin Tim manages to pull off this role with gusto despite the fact that the baby is from Stephanie's previous boyfriend and she has decided to give them up for adoption. When Steph asks him Tim makes it clear he'd be willing and happy to act as the baby's father, even though he thinks that they're both too young and involved with Gotham's more dangerous side to be acting as parents, and he has The Flash rush him to the hospital when Steph goes into labor in order to stay by her side the entire time.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • A Crown of Stars: In chapter 68 Asuka tells Shinji that she is pregnant. He is on the brink of freaking out, but since he can see that she is upset he holds it back until he has reassured her. And THEN he starts to freak out and shake.
    Shinji froze as still as she was. "You're..." It came out as a strangled gasp. He reminded himself to breathe again. A couple of deep breaths gave him the ability to try again. "You're right. We did see this already. We should have expected it." His shocked expression shifted to a faintly happy one. "At least this means we're going to be rescued sometime in the next four months."
    Asuka gave him a dour look that would have hit harder if she hadn't still been shaking so much. "You're taking this awfully lightly, Third Child."
    He laughed weakly. "Oh, I'm holding on by a thread. I want to run around the room screaming right now, I'm not sure if in joy or terror. But you obviously do not. I can freak out later if I need to. You need me, and that's more important. I promised. I've got your back for everything, including this."
  • In Chapter 1 of Sonic The Hedgehog fanfic A Rose And A Thorn 2: Eclipse, Amy is giving birth and Shadow actually considers using Chaos Control to get it out while she's straining and screaming. Fortunately he changes his mind. After the baby comes, Shadow faints.
  • The Child of Love: During Asuka's pregnancy, Shinji is panicked about the fear of being a father, he is concerned about Asuka and their daughter's health when the former delivers the latter, and he is frightened of disappointing them or being unable to protect them. Most of time he does his best to keep his panic in check, though. Most of time.
  • In Ghosts of Evangelion Shinji gets frightened when Asuka is giving birth and nearly dies by childbirth. He got scared, yelled at everyone and essentially lost his mind for a short while.
  • The Second Try: Shinji displays this in chapter "bear", especially in his last pregnancy log where he expresses his worries and doubts about having to take care of the delivery by himself despite learning all he could on the subject, and when he rushes Asuka to the hospital when her contractions begin. During the delivery proper however, he does his best to keep his panic in check and make sure that both mother and baby are all right.
  • In this Fallout: New Vegas fic, Arcade and Veronica (who are both gay) sleep together after getting very, very drunk. Pregnancy ensues. To say Arcade becomes a panicky expectant father is putting it mildly.
  • In Spy & Pyro, a Team Fortress 2 fan film, Spy and Pyro end up having a child, at which point Spy is seen nervously pacing outside the hospital smoking far too many cigarettes.
  • Downplayed version of this in The Lion King Fan Fic Pride Lands: Generations, where expectant father Dhahabu does pace nervously outside the birthing den (after somewhat frantically trying to get in earlier to see his mate—justified by having found their den empty with birthing blood in it) but in the end patiently waiting until the first cub's birth is announced, then falling asleep until the whole thing is over.
  • Subverted in Chapter 13 of the Superjail! fic Extended Stay. The Warden, for the most part, tries to stay calm while his love, the Mistress, is in preterm labor the same day they're getting married. He even sends Jailbot and NOVA to find a doctor for them.
  • Mass Effect's Crucible has Garrus as the very panicky father, since Shepard is not only going into a premature labor but also gets kidnapped right at that moment.
  • Averted in How the Light Gets In, where Laurel remembers that Dean was "cool as a cucumber" through her giving birth to their child. Though she acknowledges inwardly, he was probably flipping out.
    • The author confirms however, that the other men in their lives (her father, Sam, Tommy) were flipping out, even if they weren't there. Castiel however was fine, and annoyed by Sam's panicking.
  • In The Goblin Emperor fanfic The Honourable Thing Beshelar cares enough to organize to be alerted immediately when the birth starts, but remains perfectly calm. Zig-zagged in that he is not actually the father, but it is implied that he would have acted exactly the same if he was. There's a moment when he enters the room after "his" daughter is born, politely inquires after his wife's wellbeing, and implies to the midwife, who is suspicious at the short pregnancy, that he was "impatient" and therefore not at all surprised.
  • In His Plans to Get a Good Life Sirius mentions body-binding a hyperventilating James to stop his pacing when Harry was being born.
  • In I Must Be Going, it's noted that dad-to-be Cullen has been driving his poor wife a bit spare throughout her pregnancy. However, as the installment opens, she's gone into premature labor - giving him legitimate reason for concern. Another panicky dad-to-be is seen later in the same series, with even more justification for his antics since his wife has a chronic and potentially fatal illness.
  • Joys of the Parenthood - The Țepeș Edition: Dracula winds up fainting the moment Lisa tells him that she is pregnant.
  • In the Pokémon Adventures fic, "Maps I Must Keep," Ruby is far more concerned about his wife and their unborn child's well-being than Sapphire herself. She continues to do her work as a Gym Leader as if she's not pregnant at all, while he fusses over her diet and worries that her strenuous activities might harm the baby. One might think he's the one pregnant instead of Sapphire.
  • Fireheart paces around the territory when Sandstorm gives birth in Bitter Repercussions. He's mainly worried about the health of his mates and children.
  • In Lifecycle of a Rose, Taiyang was a nervous wreck during Yang's birth. He was also this way during Ruby's birth, but less so.
  • Us and Them: Life Renewed, Love Renewed: Aeris is going into labor. The father? Sephiroth. This is about as close to outright panic as you'll ever see him.
  • The Mountain and the Wolf: Averted when the Wolf brings Jaime to Cersei when she goes into labor. He makes Cersei grab Jaime's arm so they both participate in the Screaming Birth, and then brings him back to his cell once the baby is born.

    Films — Animation 
  • Injustice (2021). Even the Man of Steel is not immune; on realising that Lois is pregnant, he starts babbling on about where they should send the kid to college. Then Batman Sherlock Scans that he's a father because the man who took on Darkseid without trembling is doing so now. That and the fact that he's grinning like an idiot.
  • 101 Dalmatians (both versions) portrays anxious expectant fathers of both the human and canine variety. In the animated version, Roger is acting exactly like this trope, pacing around the room and smoking, when the "children" are actually puppies and Pongo's similarly pacing. In the live action version, Roger comments on his own anxiety regarding the puppies, wondering how much worse it'll be for his own child; Pongo, by contrast, is rather chill.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • This trope is weaponized in Tower Heist. The thieves manage to trick Charlie, a former member of their ragtag fellowship and current manager of the hotel they're breaking into, into leaving by stealing his pregnant wife's cellphone and sending him a text saying the baby is coming. Charlie rushes to the hospital in a panic, and spends an hour searching for his wife and interrogating doctors before calling his in-laws and learning she's safe at their place.
  • In Warcraft (2016), Durotan is freaking out when Draka starts to give birth, although this is probably because they're surrounded by a bunch of orcs furious that he's brought a pregnant woman through the portal, and Gul'dan himself is overseeing the birth.
  • Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter has a variation. Herman anxiously paces back and forth outside the doghouse where his greyhound Mrs. Brown is giving birth.

  • Dave Barry wrote a column in which it turns out he much prefers the older way of childbirth where the men were relegated to a small room while the women and medical professionals got on with the birth, but now they're expected to be present.
  • The Belgariad:
    • Garion loses his mind during Ce'Nedra's first labor. He gets sent away to make himself useful. By the time she gives birth, he's chopped several cords of wood and is considering how much wood he could get if he destroyed the woodshed...
    • His brain doesn't shut down when the second birth is imminent, but he still gets the assignment of taking his son out of the royal apartments and to the other end of the Citadel. Apparently Poledra doesn't believe in taking chances.
    • At the end of the Malloreon, Durnik's brain stays in gear when Polgara goes into labor, but Poledra chases him off to the smithy to boil water anyway.
    • The prequel novels make it clear that this is one of Polgara's general rules of thumb for midwivery: find the father a time-consuming task to do somewhere else so that he won't get in the way.
  • Discworld:
    • Sam Vimes, of all people, shows signs of this in Night Watch, not helped by the fact that it's a tricky birth. But given the cultural setting, and Sybil taking some pity on him and letting him off the hook, he's not present at the birth. Sam's generally not so good at handling things he can't control, which seems to be why, even as Commander, he does a lot of hands-on police work.
      Sybil had already made it quite clear, with gentle tact, that he was not required on this particular case. It had been, he had to admit, a bit of a relief.
    • In Thief of Time, when Nanny Ogg remembers delivering the child of Wen the Eternally Surprised and the Anthropomorphic Personification of Time, she comments that Wen (who normally had Zen Master levels of tranquility, because that's what he was) was in such a panic when he went to get her that he was hurrying, because he'd forgotten he had literally all the time he needed. He also went to get her at the wrong time twice, first showing up to a young Miss Ogg who'd never been a solo midwife.
  • Dragon's Teeth: The first scene of the novel has protagonist Lanny Budd in the waiting room of a maternity hospital, stressing out and wondering what's taking so long with his wife Irma giving birth.
  • Earth's Children: When Fralie goes into labor in the third book, Frebec is extremely worried about her, frantically asking people if they think she and the baby will be alright. Aside from this being his first baby, he's right to be worried, as Fralie is in poor health and her labor has started a month early; premature babies often die in this time period and Fralie's own life could be at risk. He's scared enough about losing them both that he puts aside his pride to ask Ayla's help.
  • Good Omens:
    • Adam's father is kinda like this. Lampshaded, even: "A man with 'expectant father' written all over him." (So of course, they swap his child with the infant Antichrist...)
    • Inverted with the birth of the American ambassador's kid: because this is a truly Special Moment for him and his wife, he calls her while also having a conversation with his stockbroker. And gets one of the Secret Service guards to videotape the whole thing.
  • Hemingway's "In Our Time" plays this as darkly as possible: the expectant father kills himself "offscreen" during a complicated labour. The doctor and his son only realise this when the birth is finally over.
  • When narrating the first time she gave birth in her Mémoires, Laure Junot actually speaks very little of her own experience and more of her husband having a complete fit of panic and having to be comforted by the First Consul in person.
  • The Reynard Cycle: Isengrim, normally calm to the point of seeming inhuman when facing down death, begins to sweat, leans against a wall for support, and finally indulges in a drink or three when Hirsent goes into labor during The Baron of Maleperduys.
  • While it takes place far earlier than the birth, Dag's reaction when he realizes his wife is pregnant in The Sharing Knife: Horizon contains more than a hint of this trope (that he was learning medicine making at this point and had seen some nasty prenatal complications already did not help).
    Arkady: Almost all apprentices go through a phase where they're convinced they're coming down with every new disease they've just learned about. I thought you were going to be the notable exception. I suppose I didn't think it through quite far enough.
  • Johnny Nolan in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn goes out, gets drunk, runs home to mother and fails to show up for his work as a school janitor; the pipes freeze and the school is flooded, and, naturally, Johnny loses his job (and the already poor family's only source of income). Also qualifies as an Epic Fail.
  • Warrior Cats:
    • Berrynose tries to rush his mate off to the nursery when he finds out that she's pregnant.
    • Deconstructed with Clear Sky and Storm in The Sun Trail. In fact, his constant worrying for her caused her to leave him.
  • Discussed in The Wheel of Time, when some women are talking obliquely in front of Rand about how useless men are in childbirth, claiming that they always faint. Rand, a sheepherder, immediately reminisces about the time he had to reach into a ewe's womb to turn around a birthing lamb. The series ends before any of his children are actually born, though.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Largely subverted in Adam-12 episode "Log 93: Baby", which has Reed gotten most of his wife's birthing day organized, although he forgot to put on his uniform's socks and some clerical mistakes at the hospital are frustrating him.
  • Reuben Gregory on Amen, though it's more about dealing with the grossness of the process (he faints when watching a birthing video) and being able to handle Thelma screaming at him. When she does go into labor, he basically snaps himself out of it, determined to be able to support her.
    Reuben Gregory: Don't worry about me! I'm okay whether I'm okay or not! Okay?!"
  • One episode of Bewitched has Darrin treating a pregnant Samantha like dirt after getting some advice from Larry. He then makes the fatal mistake of saying "I know exactly what you're going through" to Sam, and Endora decides to make that statement a reality by giving Darrin pregnancy symptoms. This prompts an Imagine Spot where Darrin pictures being the first man in history to give birth—and we see Samantha in the waiting room pacing and handing out cigars when she gets the news that she's now a mother.
  • In Bones, Angela has false labor and then the baby is born a few episodes later. Hodgins completely loses it both times. In the actual birth storyline, he makes a show of being calm, cool and collected, then runs off panicking.
    Hodgins: Okay, uh—baby! Baby! BABY!
  • Call the Midwife has used this occasionally; given the time period, they're all exiled to the hallway where they have little to do except wear a hole in the carpet. That, or go down the pub.
  • An Argentinian Comedy-Soap called Carita Del Angel (I probably got the name wrong) parodied this. One of the main characters is expecting his second child in a waiting room, showing all symptoms of a Panicky Expectant Father. He gets in a conversation with another man who looks positively bored. He explains that he was just as excited with his first two children. After that, he got used to it. The one he was waiting there was his 11th.
  • Devon (a.k.a. Captain Awesome) in Chuck is way more freaked out by Ellie's pregnancy than she is. The kicker is, both of them are doctors, so he really should know better. When they are finally at the hospital, she calmly tells him to leave the room to collect himself before returning.
  • The Cosby Show: Elvin when Sondra was about to deliver. She was cool as a cucumber throughout most of the ordeal with the occasional bout of pain. Elvin screeches "Contraction!" when Sondra was in pain and needed to breathe in a paper bag.
    Elvin: What was most embarrassing, when we were on our way here, in the car, I had to pull over, and let her drive.
    • John Ritter memorably played one of these.
  • Danny, to a point, on CSI: NY. He doesn't get completely out of control, but is still apparently going over things in his head.
    Danny: What if it's twins? I mean, you've seen Lindsay, she's huge!
  • The Doctor at Large episode "Mother and Father Doing Well" brings back the character of Huw Evans from Doctor in the House as an expectant father whose medical knowledge has given him a laundry list of reasons to worry about the birth itself. After getting into a shouting match with a whole waiting room of panicky expectant fathers, he is wheeled into the delivery room on a gurney—and faints immediately and has to be wheeled back out.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Amy's Choice" has a subversion. In the village dreamworld, the Doctor and Rory start freaking out when a pregnant Amy starts screaming and holding her belly. She then reveals that she was faking the Doctor out in retaliation for him calling Upper Leadworth dull.
      The Doctor: You're a doctor, help her!
      Rory: You're a doctor!
      Both: It's okay, we're a doctor! [the Doctor puts his hands out to catch the falling baby]
    • When Amy thought she was pregnant (turned out it was a false alarm) and decided not to tell her husband Rory, he berated her, saying, "I'm a nurse, I'm good with babies," averting this trope. However, when Amy does have a baby when she's been kidnapped, Rory is somewhat emotional, partly because of the shock of suddenly being a parent, partly because his wife has been kidnapped, and partly because who he thought was his wife had been a copy the entire nine months.
  • Tom Branson when his daughter is born during season three of Downton Abbey. However, it's not so much the birth itself that causes his panic, but rather the fact that Sybil isn't doing well and there are two doctors standing around arguing as to whether or not she has eclampsia and if so what to do. Turns out she does have eclampsia - and dies from it. So he was rather justified in panicking.
  • Surprisingly averted in Farscape, when John Crichton is just about as calm as it is possible to be when the love of his life is giving birth in the middle of a battle. He's still terrified, but not nearly to the extreme you'd expect.
  • Subverted in an episode of Firefly where one of Inara's friends goes into labor while the crew is there to help fend off the father of her baby. The actual father of the baby isn't around, and Mal... reacts.
    Mal: Oh — it's starting. Okay. It's starting! No-one panic, it's gonna be fine!
    Simon: I got this one, Captain.
However, Simon is somewhat nervous as he helps deliver the baby, but then he says that it's the first time he's done so and handles it about as well as he can. Inara helps him and says she's never done that either. River says that it's her first time too.
  • In Frasier, when Daphne enters labor in a veterinarian's office, Niles attempts to calm her by getting her to focus on her breathing exercises. Unfortunately, his 'breathing exercises' turn into a hyperventilating panic attack and he faints.
  • Friends:
    • When Carol goes into labour with Ben, Ross is all over the place and actually makes it to the hospital before Carol and Susan. It's not only played for comedy in terms of a first-time dad, but but also with Joey as a foil. Joey accidentally becomes the random stranger that helps a woman with no support get through her labour, so by the time Carol's labour progresses, Joey's "been there, done that" attitude is displayed in stark contrast to Ross's frenzied behavior.
    • Subverted or averted with later pregnancies as the show lets the characters build on their experiences with previous births (Carol's, Phoebe's, etc.) so that they handle future births much more calmly. At least, until the final birth of the show: when Erica goes into labour, Monica is the one thrown into the role of this trope.
  • In Full House when Rebecca starts having contractions, Jesse declares he's "not going to be like one of those jerks who panics when his wife goes into labor" and calmly goes to help her pack... by pulling an entire rack of formal wear from the closet. Even after that he's still calm and Becky even plays along before revealing she'd already packed a bag.
  • In Good Luck Charlie, Bob Duncan is actually fairly nervous during the birth of his fifth child, Toby. Sort of justified in that he managed to drive his car into the kitchen, his daughter's car is out of gas, and they're trying to drive the hospital in an ice cream truck.
  • In Hannah Montana, with a radio host being informed that his wife is in labour.
    "My baby's having a wife! I mean, my bife's having a waby!"
  • Averted in How I Met Your Mother. Marshall only panicked when Lily was in labor because he was stuck in Atlantic City and thought he'd miss the birth. Ted remained calm for both Lily and for The Mother.
  • Ricky in I Love Lucy served as one of the earliest examples during "Lucy Goes to the Hospital". Ricky almost doesn't go to the Tropicana on the night Lucy expects to go to the hospital, and even asks her to try to have the baby before showtime. Later, he tries to remain calm, even setting up a "rehearsal" so that he, Fred, and Ethel can each know what specific task to do when Lucy announces it's time to go to the hospital. Everything goes smoothly. Then Lucy tells them it's time for real, and everyone panics, leading to a legendary Gilligan Cut of a nurse wheeling Ricky into the hospital while a thoroughly unamused Lucy follows with their bags..
  • Lost subverted this. In the flashbacks (flashforwards?) we see Jin running around buying gifts for a newborn baby, which we assume is his and Sun's child in the future. Turns out that Jin is actually buying a gift for the newborn child of his boss's client in the past and he is actually dead in the future and does not see his child being born, except he's not really dead.
  • Vinton, on Mama's Family, totaled his truck and Mama's car all in his attempt to go to the hospital, forgetting the pregnant Naomi.
  • In the fourth season of The Mentalist, Rigsby's girlfriend becomes pregnant. As the due date approaches, he becomes increasingly panicked, while repeatedly insisting that it's his girlfriend who's freaking out.
  • Modern Love:
    • Alluded to by the doctor who helps Maggie give birth, saying they get a lot of "fainter" fathers.
    • In the seventh episode, we see that Andy is panicky as Karla is about to give birth. He's not the biological father, but will adopt her baby.
  • When Palmer learns that his wife is going into labor in NCIS, his brain completely locks up. It takes Gibbs rebooting him with his trademark Dope Slap to get him to actually travel to the hospital.
  • Felix in The Odd Couple was this big time, driving his then-wife Gloria, the doctor, and everybody else (especially Oscar) crazy.
  • Played with on The Office (US). Pam is in the late stages of a rare-for-TV normally progressing labor, and wants to hold out on going to the hospital until midnight so their crappy health insurance can't stiff them out of a day's worth of medical care. After spending months going through all the preparations and diapering everything from footballs to cats, Jim is ready to go now and can't understand why everyone in the office isn't helping him convince her.
  • One skit from the very first episode of Saturday Night Live was Bee Hospital, with the entire skit being a bunch of worried bee dads buzzing around in the waiting room awaiting the births of their children.
  • Turk, at the birth of Isabella in Scrubs, eventually ends up trapped in an ice machine. The other births have been aversions or subversions: JD is too concerned with the realization he needs to break up with Kim to panic too much at the birth of Sam. Dr Cox seems to have been fairly calm about the birth of Jack (probably because he didn't know the baby was his), and when Jennifer is born, we only see his concern about people associating her birth with Laverne's death.
  • The lads on The Young Ones freak out when Vyvyan apparently goes into labor (it's just gas), with Mike fleeing the room and Neil calling for boiling towels and clean water.

  • Billy Bigelow in Rogers and Hammerstein's Carousel gets an entire solo about this. Unfortunately, it leads him to worry about money so much, he becomes a mugger and is fatally stabbed on his own knife.
  • Mr. Buchanan in Street Scene is under a nervous strain because his wife is about to give birth.

    Video Games 
  • Very common in the Distaff Counterpart Harvest Moon games—usually, during the "child born" scene, the Player Character's husband is off worrying. Some of them have only a normal worry, but others are so panicky, they'll get told by the Delivery Guy or gal: "Honestly, I'm more worried about you!"
    • This includes Alex in Magical Melody and Jin in Tree Of Tranquility / Animal Parade. Both of them are the town doctors, though to be fair, it sort of makes sense: It's one thing to be delivering a stranger's child. It's another to be delivering your own child while your wife is in labor.
  • Ken Masters shows some traits in the Street Fighter IV series. Good thing that his wife and the soon-to-be-mom, Eliza, is much Closer to Earth - not to mention, baby!Mel is only born in Super SSIFIV!.
  • In Final Fantasy X-2, Wakka is constantly on edge but luckily Lulu is Closer to Earth and much calmer. Of course, the issue isn't that Wakka is scared that the baby's coming but because he doesn't know how a father is supposed to be - he and his brother were orphans and Wakka's prior attempts to "parent" his brother strained their relationship.
  • In The Sims 4, if the father notices the mother in labor, he'll start flailing his arms and/or clutching his head while screaming and jogging in place. His mood will also become tense.

  • Arthur, King of Time and Space:
  • Archipelago's Mikel when his pregnant wife stands up too fast.
    Mikel: Sit down, sit down but slowly! We don't want to jostle the baby.
    Deliza: I'm okay Mikel, you can relax.
    Mikel: You know the doctor said sudden falls could be dangerous this close to birth.
    Deliza: Sitting down usually doesn't count as a 'sudden fall'.
  • In this episode of MOLEBASHED, Wes goes into full panic mode when he arrives at the hospital with his pregnant wife.
  • Port Sherry: The father in "Chip off the old block" is lamenting his life choices as his wife gives birth. The gag turns out to be that the father is Pinocchio, who had been worried his wife was about to give birth to a puppet.

    Western Animation 
  • Fred Flintstone in The Flintstones, during the birth of Pebbles, headed to the hospital without Wilma.
    (On the phone) "Hello, this is Fred Hospital, I'm taking my wife to the Flintstone!"
  • The Looney Tunes cartoons of The '50s featured this on a few occasions a birthing sequence was depicted, such as in "Pappy's Puppy," "Rocket Bye Baby" and "Really Scent", complete with chain-smoking.
  • Dexter's dad in the "LABretto" episode of Dexter's Laboratory detailing Dexter's birth and development.
  • Goofy is portrayed as such a father in the Disney short about parenting.
  • Drawn Together parodied the sitcom cliche of the father running off and leaving the mother behind.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • The end result of this trope is shown in "Baby Cakes". Mr. Cake introduces his twin foals to the Mane Six while sporting a faceful of stubble, an undone bow tie, and his mane and cap in disarray.
    • Implied in "The Crystalling". When the Mane Six go to the Crystal Empire to meet baby Flurry Heart, Shining Armor's mane in complete disarray after his daughter is born, later falling asleep standing up, implying that he'd been one until just before Twilight and company arrived.
  • Arnold's father, Miles, in Hey Arnold! was this — although it's understandable, given that he and Arnold's mother, Stella, were in the jungle, and far from any doctors or hospitals.
  • One episode of Budgie the Little Helicopter features the Fairweathers, who are trapped by a blizzard waiting for rescue from Budgie so he can take them to the hospital, where Mrs. Fairweather will give birth. Mr. Fairweather is portrayed as extremely nervous and constantly worried.
  • In the first animated adaptation of Busy Town, called The Busy World Of Richard Scarry, Mr. Fixit's wife tells him that their baby is ready to be born. He starts panicking and even forgets to take her into the hospital.
  • In the We Bare Bears episode "Yard Sale", Panda ends a meeting with a pregnant woman named Annie after finding what turns out to be her husband Paul's cell phone. Paul is about to pound Panda flat in a jealous rage, but forgets all that in when Annie goes into labor. The poor guy is in such a panic he faints, and the bears end up having to drag him along as they rush to get Annie to the hospital.
  • Tex Avery MGM Cartoons:
    • Tex Avery did the chain-smoking variant in "One Cab's Family". Let's not think too much about taxis giving birth.
    • "The Flea Circus": While waiting for his wife to give birth, a flea is pacing back and fourth in the waiting room while puffing cigarettes laying on the floor, the cigarettes being about twenty times his size.
    • "The Hick Chick": Done again with a chicken husband pacing back and fourth with a beak full of cigarettes; we get a zoom in of the bags under his eyes, which change into travel bags.
  • The Transformers: Animated episode "Garbage In, Garbage Out" shows Spike Witwicky panicking about his wife Carly about to give birth. The grumpy Ratchet's attempts to drive them to the hospital at Sari's insistence do nothing in assuaging Spike's over-the-top concerns for the well-being of his wife and yet-to-be-born child.
  • In the Pound Puppies (1980s) episode "Where Do Puppies Come From?", Cooler at one point asks father-to-be Rusty if he's nervous about the fact that his wife Lucy will be having puppies soon. Rusty replies by stuttering and vehemently denying that the notion that he's going to be a dad has made him uneasy.
  • Archer does this when Lana Kane goes into labour in the fifth season finale. After he's kicked out of the room he starts pacing nervously, knocks over a vending machine and punches Cyril in the face. The irony is that he doesn't actually know the baby is his until after the birth is over. Lana told everyone she used a sperm donor to get pregnant when she actually used a sample Archer had frozen during an earlier bout with cancer.
  • In Bobby's World, Howard behaves this way throughout the episode where Martha gives birth to the twins, repeatedly calling the hospital, overreacting to any disturbance from Bobby, and saying the baby will be born "any second," even before Martha goes into labor. At the hospital, another dad is also shown with a 5 o'clock shadow, sweating and pacing around the waiting room.
  • Played with in the Justice League Unlimited episode The Greatest Story Never Told where Booster Gold is trying to help out civilians across town while the rest of the League is busy with another fight. Among the ones he helps is a pregnant woman who is going into labor in the back of an abandoned ambulance, where Booster's robot sidekick Skeets gives the woefully unprepared hero some rudimentary advice on how to handle baby delivery. Cut to later and Skeets, a floating robot, is "pacing" outside the ambulance.