Follow TV Tropes


The Baby Trap

Go To

Bart: Cathy, you told me there was no need for precautions!
Cathy: There was no need. I want your baby.
Bart: You want my baby? What the hell do you think I can do, marry you?
Cathy: No. I did my own assuming. I presumed you'd have your fun with me and when it was over you'd go back to your wife and find yourself another playmate. And I'd have just what I set out to get — your baby. Now I can leave. So kiss me off, Bart, as just another of your little extramarital dalliances.

Someone in a relationship deliberately causes a pregnancy without their partner's consent, usually by lying about or sabotaging birth control, in order to bind their partner to them. The character's motivations run the gamut from understandable to reprehensible: sometimes they're just clingy and/or desperate to get hitched or have a child; other times they feel the relationship is on the rocks and believe that babies make everything better; still other times they feel the pregnancy will establish a claim on the other person (or their resources, such as pursuing an inheritance or child support payments) or make it harder for him/her to leave. In accordance with the Law of Inverse Fertility, attempting this even once will invariably result in pregnancy, with all attendant drama.

A variation involves a woman faking a pregnancy with the intention of faking a convenient miscarriage after the wedding, or actually being pregnant but lying about who the father is. Can lead to a shotgun wedding, or a very special episode about abortion or adoption, but more often drama or hilarity ensues, depending on what sort of show we're dealing with.

While it's usually made clear that this is a cheap, sneaky thing to do, rarely is it pointed out that it's actually a form of spousal and/or child abuse.

The character doing this is usually female, often a teenage girl, because of gender stereotypes that say all women are desperate to get married and have babies while all men flee commitment as long as they can. (This is dependent upon several factors within real life, such as abortion rights. These laws can cause a huge imbalance in agency, where either a woman has all control over what happens within her body or none at all. This can also put pressure on the father as well, who has to either make an "honest woman" of her or take financial responsibility.) Because of this, female characters who are disliked by their male partner's friends or family may be suspected of plotting to use this trope on him even if there's no evidence of any such thing. The moral tone also depends on several factors, such as the gender doing the trapping and the circumstances in which the sex took place. For example, a man who traps a woman is portrayed as planting something within her body that she does not want there. The greater problems of Double Standard Rape and Marital Rape License also create deeper concerns.

This usually involves some form of Contraception Deception. The most common example of this (poking a hole in a condom with a pin) is a mild example of artistic license; it's possible but much harder to do (at least without the partner noticing) than it looks on TV. Condoms are designed so that failure is usually obvious. Most of the time, using a condom with even a small hole will result in the whole thing shredding apart under use.

It's quite easy, however, to stop taking birth control pills without telling the partner, which is also a common form of this trope.

See also Fake Pregnancy. Compare Gold Digger and Honey Trap. Has nothing to do with The Parent Trap.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • The is part of the Freudian Excuse for a pair of Creepy Twins in the Great Teacher Onizuka spinoff Shonan 14 Days: their mother was having an affair and had the kids in an attempt to blackmail the father into marrying her.
  • In the sequel to ½ Prince Lan's brother pokes a hole in a condom to force Lolidragon to marry him when she's hesitant to commit.
  • In the manga version of His and Her Circumstances, Souichiro Arima's birth mother Ryouko does this to squeeze child support money out of his father Reiji because she knows Reiji is the son of a rich doctor. (What she doesn't know is that Reiji is illegitimate, much younger than his father's legitimate children, and actively hated by all of them except Souji, the eldest). She leaves Soichiro to die sometime after finding this out, but Soichiro is saved by Reiji's timely arrival and ends up being adopted soon after by Souji and his wife Shizune, who can't have children of their own.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans plays around quite a bit with this in a rare example of this being done for non-selfish reasons. After a particularly nasty battle in the second season, Atra gets it in her head to have a child with the protagonist Mikazuki to give him a reason to live and snap him out of his self-destructive tendencies. And if it's not with her, then him impregnating Kudelia is another option. Hilariously, when she finally does ask Mika about it, his response is basically "Yeah, sure"... Unfortunately, he winds up dying in the end anyway, leaving Atra to raise little Akatsuki with Kudelia.
  • Nagasarete Airantou: Ayane once planned to do this to Ikuto to make him more unwilling to leave the island. For once her plan works and she manages to pin down Ikuto under her while being half naked. Unfortunately she has no idea what they are supposed to do next. At least she gets their First Kiss out of it!
  • In Oishii Kankei, Kanako tries to pull this on Keiji to force him to marry her. She was, in fact, pregnant, but the baby wasn't his, but from her boss.
  • Sae of Peach Girl believes herself to be pregnant (this is later proved to be psychological) and tries to use this to bind Ryo to her who she loved who loved Misao instead. When Ryo refuses her and tries to leave with Misao she blurted out that she was pregnant.
  • In the anime version of School Days, Kotonoha is convinced Sekai did this to Makoto and cuts open Sekai's belly to "make sure" after murdering her. Is this what actually happened? The show's ambiguous on it: Sekai has a fairly strong claim in regards to pregnancy itself, but it's left up in the air whether she deliberately pulled the trope, or this is just Teen Pregnancy without the baby trap itself behind. (Some fans speculate that Sekai might not have been pregnant, but sincerely believed she was due to having symptoms that could easily be mistaken as those of pregnancy).
  • Downplayed in GTO: The Early Years. Mami tells Makoto she's pregnant (after they broke up) and she wants to get married, but she didn't do it on purpose. They end up running away to start a new life before she finds out she's not pregnant after all.
  • Subverted hilariously in Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki, when Ryoko implies that her ship's egg is actually her and Tenchi's child. Tenchi's family and even Sasami are actually happy for them (though obviously not Ayeka), totally ignoring Tenchi's denials. The egg quickly hatches and is revealed to be the rabbit-like Ryo-Ohki, but some swear they still see a resemblance to Tenchi.
  • In the Tokyo Ghoul sequel, Touka tells Kaneki she’s trying to find a way to keep him at her side, then jumps him while he's emotionally vulnerable and has just confided in her about how much he misses Hide.

  • Carol Leifer, the Real Life inspiration for Elaine Benes, had this variant:
    He tricked me into marrying him. He told me he was pregnant.
  • Comedy writer/standup Ali Wong talked about this trope throughout her standup special "Baby Cobra". Specifically, she talked about turning her dating life around from the losers she used to date when she met her husband and going out of her way to be sure to get into a relationship with him and get him to propose to her because he had much better prospects for the future than any man she might otherwise date. She specifically, and repeatedly, describes it as "trapping" him, with the hope that thanks to his business background she could retire early and still live a happy, prosperous life of comfort. But at the very end of the special, it turns into a subversion when she describes discovering that his Harvard education had left him massively in debt and they would, in fact, be relying on her money from writing for shows like Fresh Off the Boat to take care of it.
    Worked hard to trap his ass, got him to propose to me, oh my God, then we got married, my dream is coming true, then we got pregnant, and recently we bought our first home together. And two weeks into the escrow process, I learned that my beautiful, Harvard-educated husband was seventy thousand dollars in debt. And me, with my hard-earned T.V. money, wound up paying it all off. [Beat] So as it turns out, he's the one who trapped me! ... Now if I don't work, we die! Why else do think I'm doing this show while seven and a half months pregnant?!
    • Her second special, Hard Knock Wife goes further into it. She jokes about how her husband knows how loaded she is and so doesn't give a fuck about himself in his business life and he knows his wife is totally loaded. She darkly admits the irony of trying to trap him but in reality trapped herself into a marriage that she is at the least very happy with.

    Comic Books 
  • The retelling of Batman's tryst with Talia in the New 52 plays along these lines; Talia spikes Bruce's drink with something before they get to it, and the morning after tells him that their son will be a worthy successor to the two of them.
  • Subverted and later played straight with Cheshire.
    • Subverted in the case of her daughter Lian, who wasn't planned. Cheshire still followed through on the pregnancy and gave birth to Lian as part of her revenge plan against Roy Harper for walking out on her. Her goal was to torment Roy, first by revealing their child's existence but never letting Roy near them, later by feeding Roy the barest details about Lian's development and how all of it was happening without him. Even after Roy gained permanent custody of Lian, Cheshire was still capable of manipulating Roy by relying on her connection to Lian.
    • Played straight with her son Tommy, who was deliberately conceived for this trope. While being blackmailed into joining the Secret Six, Cheshire singled out Catman as the most desirable candidate and seduced him to get pregnant again. She did this for two reasons. The first being that she would now have a child in case Mockingbird followed through on his threat to detonate a bomb in Lian's head. The second is that she would rely on Catman to protect her from the Six's eventual retaliation after she betrayed them to the Secret Society.
      Cheshire: Mockingbird may kill my beloved child. So isn't it fortunate that I will soon have a replacement?
  • In DCU Infinite Holiday Special issue #1, Supergirl must reunite a little girl with her father, a jerkass drunk who thinks his ex-wife got pregnant to force him into a marriage.
    Fred: Or that he never would have married that witch if she hadn't skipped her pill on purpose—!
  • Jon Sable, Freelance: In #55, it is revealed that Myke's former boyfriend—a sleazy CIA agent named Markham—tried to trap her into marriage by switching her birth control pills so she'd get pregnant.
  • In The Sandman, Shakespeare's wife implies she did this to Will and Will seems to think his eldest daughter is planning the same for her boyfriend.
  • It's been Retconned that Spawn's widow Wanda purposely stopped taking her birth control pills in hopes that a baby would change Al, who back in the day was a ruthless assassin. He ends up punching her in the stomach, killing the baby as well as all speculation that Cyan is his daughter.
  • In X-Factor, Rahne, who is very Protestant and pregnant with a mutant-Wolf God hybrid baby, lets ex-boyfriend Rictor assume that he's the father of her baby after returning to find him about to get busy with Shatterstar.

    Fan Works 
  • Part of the backstory dump Selina tells Damian in Batman: Angel of Death is that her mother Isabella was mistress to a wealthy man (implied to be mafia don Carmine Falcone), and got pregnant hoping he would leave his real family for her. It didn't work at all, so Isabella quickly pulled this on Selina's "legal" father, Brian Kyle, who did marry her. This is what first comes close to endearing her to Damian, who is the product of similar circumstances.
  • In Between Thought and Reality Harry has had so many witches cancel their anti-conception spells mid-coitus in an attempt at this that he drinks a sterility potion before any sexual encounters.
  • Mariella Zabini from Black Sky is purely motivated by her desire to escape her life as a prostitute when she engages in an affair with the Prince of Sabina, whom she knows is without a male heir to succeed her. Unusually for this trope, the baby's birth would have been a boon for every party involved: Sabina gets an Heir and Mariella as the mother gets to spend her life in comfort and safety. Unfortunately, the Prince wasn't keen on acknowledging he fathered a bastard, so he brutally mind-wiped Mariella and abandoned her to die in a slum, with her son who later grows up to become Xanxus of the Vongola.
  • In Crazy Little Thing Called Love Astoria falls in love with Harry while having an affair with him. Afraid that he's going to end it due to feeling guilty, she drinks a fertility potion before their next meeting.
  • Doing It Right This Time: In this story, Naoko was supposed to use Gendo's wife Yui's eggs to create Rei. Instead of it, she used her own eggs. Ritsuko thinks her mother was trying to baby-trap Gendo, but Gendo doubts Naoko swapped her genetic material with Yui's because she was trying to make him committed to her.
    "Look! Read the results. They still had Mom's DNA profile in the records. She must've had an egg left over from the MAGI, and... Oh, fucking hell. She was sleeping with him. She must have been. Why else would she do this? She was trying to baby trap Gendo."
  • the Stargate SG-1 fic "The Dorsa" features Captain Selena Sanchez, who develops such a twisted obsession with Daniel Jackson that she uses alien pheromones to basically drug Daniel into a heightened state of arousal so that she can rape him and impregnate herself, threatening to abort the baby if he won't dump Sam Carter (who he has recently started dating) and marry her. Fortunately, her subsequent hearing rules that she isn't mentally stable enough to make a choice about getting an abortion for herself, and she is forced to carry the child to term, the baby being given to Daniel and Sam after the birth as Sam affirms that she will never see the child as anything less than her own daughter.
  • The Buffy the Vampire Slayer fic False Smiles features a variation of this where both parties believed that the pregnancy was real, with Faith realising that her period is late after her night with Xander. As the two adjust to the idea of becoming parents, Xander's growing interest in Faith's life leads to him managing to stop her accidentally killing Deputy Mayor Finch, allowing them to outright prevent the ascension. On a more personal level, the two develop genuine feelings for each other beyond just a one-night stand, so that by the time they learn Faith isn't pregnant (Angel was away and unaware of this belief, but confirms the truth through his enhanced senses), they realise that they are now genuinely in love. It is revealed to the reader that Whistler actually faked at least one of Faith's pregnancy tests to ensure that Faith would stay with Xander and avoid her canon fate.
  • Referenced in He Can Only Blame Himself. After Marinette catches Adrien cheating on her with Lila, she warns Gabriel that his new girlfriend is a Manipulative Bitch and that she might attempt this:
    Marinette: Also, I'd see about putting Adrien on Dimethandrolone undecanoate as soon as possible. I wouldn't put it past her to 'accidentally' forget her birth control and get pregnant. Also, you'd do well to investigate any pregnancy claims she makes. Also, demand a DNA test. Consider it free advice. For old times' sake.
  • A male version is attempted in Heart of Ashes. Smaug decides to impregnate Kathryn partly because having a child with him would tie her to him more than ever. When she has her menstrual period following several times of copulation, Smaug angrily reveals what he's been trying to do. Kathryn is hurt and furious with him for trying to impregnate her without first speaking with her about having a baby.
  • In the Punch-Out!! fanfic Ma Fille, Katrina's Evil Aunt Laura attempts to claim that Katrina's father Glass Joe is also the father of her baby. However, this fails as a) Joe has a restraining order against Laura, b) he hadn't seen her in over two years, c) he's gay, and d) he's married. Laura eventually relents and admits her baby's father is an anonymous sperm donor.
  • The New Retcons: When Elizabeth comes back from her honeymoon pregnant, Elly is excited that she did it "so soon" and winks at her. This is later revealed to be because Elly tried this with her first husband Stan Watson out of fear he would cheat on her or leave. Not only did it not work, it resulted in Michael.
  • New Tamaran features on interesting variant. After the events of Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo, Slade forced a team of scientists to create a child from the DNA of Robin and Starfire, with the intention of raising the child as his apprentice. However, one of those scientists was Oracle, who escaped and impregnated herself with the child, whom she intends on using to force Robin and Starfire to stay together. She's convinced this is the only way to stop Robin from becoming a lonely brooder like Batman.
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: In the sequel Picking up the Pieces, some of Deep Blade's past lovers have tried to do this via Fake Pregnancy in order to have an excuse to marry into his family. When Sergeant Summer Nights finds out, she notes that such actions are a crime.
  • In Viper Ginny is pregnant with her married lover's baby and tries to convince Harry that it's his, despite the pesky little fact that he's no longer in a relationship with her and a virgin.
  • In the A Hat in Time AU fic What to Expect When You're On the Run, Vanessa purposely got herself pregnant because she wanted her husband to leave his university and be with her more permanently.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • At the start of 8 Mile, Rabbit says his girlfriend might be pregnant. She later says she just said that in an effort to make him stay.
  • Attempted in The Associate on a non-existent man who was, when he appeared, a cross-dressing woman.
  • The gold-digging eponymous Bad Teacher mentions that she tried doing something like this to basketball players (as mentioned below), but that they were always smart enough to make sure that the condom was intact and to take it with them after the deed was complete.
  • Big Daddy features a rare Gender Flip variant: through a clerical mix-up, the protagonist Sonny Koufax becomes the legal guardian for a small child, but rather than attempt to amend the situation decides to adopt the child in hopes that this will help fix his failing relationship with his girlfriend. One of his friends explicitly compares the situation to a woman who attempts to get pregnant in hopes of fixing a failing marriage.
  • Averted in The Big Lebowski. Maude contrives to have what the Dude at first thinks is a casual fling with him. When he realises she slept with him expressly to conceive a child, she assures him that she picked him as the father specifically because she didn't want the biological father to have any desire whatsoever to be involved in the child's upbringing.
  • In Drop Dead Fred, the reason Lizzie's mother Polly was so cruel to her was that she used this trick to try and save her marriage. When it didn't work, she placed the blame squarely on her daughter's shoulders.
  • One weird example: In the movie French Twist, a lesbian asks her girlfriend's husband to get her pregnant. The film then picks up again after she's had the baby, and ends with the four of them (lesbian, girlfriend, husband, and baby) living together happily.
    • The original release also has the husband being seduced by a guy. This was left out of the American release, for obvious reasons.
  • Gone Girl has an interesting variant. Nick wants to have children with Amy, to the point of starting fertility treatments, but Amy changes her mind and has the sperm samples destroyed.... or so Nick thinks. Amy turns out to have kept the sample on ice. After she frames Nick for her murder, he naturally wants nothing more to do with her, but she impregnates herself with his stored sperm, believing that he'd rather stay with her than abandon his child. It works.
  • Another weird example: in the movie A Home At The End Of The World a gay man named Johnathan is attempting to get his best friend, a straight woman named Clare, pregnant so they can both raise the baby together. When Jonathan's old boyfriend Bobby enters their life and also begins a sexual relationship with Clare, it obviously creates huge discourse within the trio. When Johnathan has finally had enough a threatens to leave them both, Clare reveals that she's pregnant, although she doesn't mention who the father is. This causes both Bobby and Johnathan to put aside their differences and they all raise the baby together as a family unit.
  • In the film version of Interview with the Vampire, Lestat seems to first see Claudia as the "baby" for his version of this, to force Louis to stay with him. It's interesting.
  • In The Invisible Man, Cecilia had a secret stash of birth control pills because she knew Adrian, her abusive husband, wanted to have a baby to enact this trope. However, Cecilia gets committed to a mental hospital after Adrian killed her sister while wearing his invisible suit in the restaurant she and Cecilia were eating dinner. When she gets a medical check, she finds out that she's pregnant with Adrian's child, and finds out that he replaced her secret birth control pills with placebos shortly before she ran away from the house as a way to ensure that she would return to him.
  • Though it's a recurring point in An Officer and a Gentleman, the movie also tries something different: Lynette only claims to be pregnant so that Sid stays in a relationship with her. She spills the beans when he resigns from the military to be with her, which she didn't want. One has to wonder when she would have confessed her lack of pregnancy otherwise.
  • When Julianne Moore's character gets pregnant in Nine Months, her boyfriend and his best friend ponder the possibility of her using this trope, as he's much happier in their childless, unmarried relationship than she is.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: Angelica tries to stop Jack from abandoning her on the desert island by lying that she is pregnant with his child; however, Jack isn't fooled.
  • The Red Pill:
    • Activists within the film argue that if a woman enacts this on a man, he has pretty much no legal recourse from being saddled with a child he didn't want or wasn't prepared for. In some cases, a man is legally obligated to care for a child even if he isn't the biological father.
    • Activists mention France's banning of "at-will" paternity tests without a court order, which limits options for men to prove actual paternity.
    • One of the activists in the film Jaye interviews alleges that it was done to him by his own wife, who trapped him in their marriage by getting pregnant, and then describes the hell she put him through in their custody battle.
  • Lynette is the aspiration for Caitlyn McNabb, one of the main antagonists of the TV movie Revenge of the Bridesmaids. When her mom grows too old to snag her fourth husband, Caitlyn carries on the family tradition. After an impulsive one-night stand with her friend Racheal’s super-rich ex-boyfriend Tony, she fakes a pregnancy to trick him into marriage, even though he’s still in love with Racheal and vice versa. She even cheats on a doctor’s test using her best friend’s sister's urine, who’s constantly pregnant due to being married to an Irish Catholic. Of course, by the end of the movie, Tony’s suspicious of her true motives, and lies about his family losing his fortune to test her. Once she thinks that Tony’s broke, Caitlyn loses all interest and reveals her lie, and the wedding is called off.
  • Diana, the mother in Too Close To Home, believes that this was pulled on her son to get him to marry his child's mother. This was averted since the son's wife confessed to her pregnancy after he asked her to marry him.
  • Unforgettable: After he broke up with her, Tessa intentionally got pregnant with David's baby so he'd stay with her, on her mother's advice as a means to insure this. However, this only extended their relationship for a time, and they got divorced when their daughter was fairly young.
  • Subverted in the film Watch It; Ellen, who had been happily seeing Rick until he started acting like a jerk toward her, tells Rick she's pregnant and is keeping the baby. However, it turns out to be a practical joke she and John (his roommate) cooked up to get Rick to grow up and be a man.

  • In 365 Days, Massimo lies about providing Laura with birth control as he hopes that if she becomes pregnant, she will definitely stay with him. Laura is unimpressed by this, declaring that if she does find out she's pregnant, she will leave him and raise their child by herself. But then when she does get pregnant, she insists on staying with Massimo and raising their child together.
  • In Accelerando, Mannfred Macx's girlfriend rapes him to have his child and forces him to be what she sees as a responsible adult. Ultimately subverted; while she does have a daughter, and Mannfred does what he can to be a part of her life, he continues his lifestyle as before.
  • In The Age of Innocence, Newland Archer expresses his desire to give up his law practice and travel the world (what he really wants to do is escape his loveless marriage and follow his wife's cousin Ellen to Paris). His wife May gently tells him, "I'm afraid you can't, dear. Not unless you take me with you. That is if the doctors will let me go..." thus revealing that she's pregnant.
  • In Brave Story we eventually learn that Wataru's mom faked a pregnancy to get her ex (who was already in a relationship with another woman) to marry her. He does, but it doesn't end well.
  • In the Maeve Binchy novel Circle Of Friends, after being ditched by her lover and not wanting to have an abortion, a desperate Nan seduces Jack—her best friend's boyfriend—and tells him he's the baby's father, knowing that he'll do the right thing and offer to marry her.
  • Jennifer Crusie's works:
    • In Welcome to Temptation, this happens twice. The main male character (many years before the book starts) marries his girlfriend at the time who becomes pregnant after lying to him about using birth control. A minor main character also marries a girlfriend who claims she's pregnant (also many years earlier), despite being in love with someone else. As the book puts it, "Eleven months later, sure enough, she had a baby."
    • In What the Lady Wants, Armand first gets June pregnant, then when that child dies he brings home his orphaned niece so she wouldn't leave. Then there's Stormy, who poked holes in the condoms so Armand would marry her, not knowing he had a secret vasectomy years before.
  • Dark Heart: Wyre claims to be pregnant by Raine after they have sex, so he feels duty-bound to marry her. It turns out she isn't and was just lying to manipulate him.
  • In David Meyer is a Mother the title character wants a child so badly that when his girlfriend refuses, he switches her birth control pills for baby aspirin and, when she finds out she is pregnant, manages to convince her to have the child with the assurance that he will be solely responsible for its care and upbringing.
  • Dragonvarld: Evelina plans to get pregnant by Marcus and rope him into marrying her or making her his mistress. She even gets him aroused with absinthe for this. It doesn't work due to him having an allergic reaction, but she has sex with another man instead and then plans to pass off any baby which results as his anyway for the same purpose. It doesn't work since she didn't get pregnant.
  • Subverted in Egalia's Daughters - men are the ones responsible for oral contraception and have to earn a woman's approval to become social fathers to a child. There is a very tragic male character who works as a teacher, and one of the boys in his class is his biological son, with whom he had no contact prior to that.
  • In Gone with the Wind, the novel at least, Scarlett kicks herself for not thinking of this as a means of marrying Ashley after someone tells her about Rhett refusing to marry a girl he "ruined".
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince:
    • This is speculated by Dumbledore to be the reason Merope Gaunt stops giving Tom Riddle Sr. love potions. She did it in the hope that he had really fallen in love with her, or would at least stay for the sake of the child she was pregnant with. Turns out he did neither.
    • It's also speculated that this was the reason the Muggles of Tom Riddle Sr.'s village used to explain why he inexplicably abandoned his previous girlfriend and ran off with a poor girl who lived in a shack, before coming back claiming he'd been deceived - that Merope lied to him that she was pregnant with his child.
  • Invoked in a supernatural way in Interview with the Vampire: Lestat changes Claudia into a vampire so Louis will not leave him — if Louis leaves, Lestat will starve Claudia to madness.
  • From Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure: Arabella, acting on the advice of her friends, uses this ploy to get Jude Fawley to marry her. It works but, oddly enough, she forgets about the baby till Jude reminds her months later. She just makes up a miscarriage and he believes her. At first.
    • Though she's certainly not above doing it, it's a bit more ambiguous than that, since she tells her friends (to whom she has no reason to lie) that she genuinely thought herself pregnant. It gets weirder though when eight years later, after they've divorced, she tells him that they did indeed have a child together, born after they were separated, and could he please look after the kid now?
  • In Kill time or die trying, a girl claims to be pregnant with Kevin's child, and the group plot to steal a sample of her urine for a home pregnancy test. Successfully..
  • A male example: in Morality Meat by James Tiptree Jr., a woman gets pregnant because her boyfriend pokes holes in the condoms. She found out about it after she heard him tell a friend to "keep his women a little bit pregnant". Classy.
  • In My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!, this is very subtly implied to be Geordo's plans for his fiancee Catarina. He has directly proclaimed that the moment he can have Catarina alone long enough, he will "help himself to all of [her]" in order to create a "fait accompli" (aka, an act which cannot be undone). This greatly implies that his goal is to impregnate her as an Instant-Win Condition against his rivals — something that both Keith and Mary are well aware of, as both refuse to let Geordo be alone with Catarina for too long.
  • My Sweet Audrina has Vera attempt to do this with Lamar Rensdale, so that he'll take her with him to New York, but she suffers a Convenient Miscarriage shortly after announcing the pregnancy.
  • Parade's End: in England before WWI, a beautiful but manipulative socialite tricks a wealthy aristocrat into marrying her when she discovers she's pregnant after having a quickie with him after a chance meeting on a train. Worst still the baby may not even be his due to the woman's promiscuous ways, though he does leave her for another woman he actually loves in the end.
  • A particularly dark example in 'Salem's Lot, where Reggie Sawyer punishes his wife for her adultery by repeatedly beating and raping her...after flushing her birth control pills down the toilet. Yeah, Reggie richly earned the Laser-Guided Karma that he got later.
  • The third book of the The School for Good and Evil series reveals the main characters, Sophie and Agatha, are the result of this. Their mother Vanessa orchestrated a one-night stand with Stefan, the man she was obsessed with, so he would have to marry her. When she could only give birth to stillborns, Vanessa took a fertility potion and had twin girls, abandoning the ugly one but keeping the beautiful one to save her marriage. While Stefan stayed for his daughter's sake, like all Vanessa's past and future attempts, it failed to make him love his wife.
  • In The Secret Love Child, the hero either sabotages the condom or simply chooses not to tell the heroine that it broke. Naturally, she gets pregnant. Naturally, they get together and it is All Very Romantic. Luckily she apparently really really wanted to have babies.
  • In the second book of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, a girl that Kostos slept with does this in order to guilt him into marrying her. In the fourth book, it's revealed that she faked the pregnancy.
  • One case that deals with the aftermath of this is Sisters Found, where one of the lead characters had been adopted for just this reason. When it wasn't enough for the adoptive father to stay, the adoptive mother became an alcoholic and resented the hell out of her daughter. To make things worse, said daughter later finds out that she was the only one of identical triplets to be given up - one of the other two had a medical problem and the cost of hospital bills was such that it was either give up one child or lose them all when Social Services saw they couldn't support their family. Not surprisingly, she has major commitment/abandonment issues.
  • Mentioned at the beginning of the first Sword of Truth book.
    • Used by Drefan Rahl's mother with Darken Rahl. Her theory was that if she could give birth to a magically gifted child and heir, Darken Rahl would shower her with riches and status. When Drefan was born and found to be non-gifted, his mother began to realize that her new son was now a liability and that her master plan was probably not the smartest thing she'd ever done. Before Darken Rahl found out about the child, she brought him to a remote monastery to be raised by monks and, in perpetual fear of the infinitely creative ways Darken Rahl would end her life if she were found, poisoned herself. Drefan turned out like his father.
  • Meggie essentially pulls this on Luke in The Thorn Birds, hoping that a pregnancy will make him leave the cane fields and settle down with her. It doesn't work at all—he's angry about it, given that he made it quite clear that he wanted to wait until they were financially secure before having children, and he doesn't change his behavior one bit.
  • In Troubled Blood, from the Cormoran Strike Novels, Robin Ellacott's estranged husband Matthew has been dragging out their divorce but then suddenly abruptly agrees to her terms during mediation without even a bit of discussion. She learns from him afterwards that Sarah Shadlock, who he cheated on her with, is pregnant, and strongly suspects it to be an example of this trope. Whether or not it's really the case is left slightly ambiguous, though given what's been revealed of Shadlock's past history, it seems likely.
  • Who Is The Prey: Fu Shenxing ends up wanting to impregnate He Yan both in order to force her to stay with him, and out of a sick desire to have a life and family with her. He even denies her birth control pills at one point.

    Live-Action TV 
  • All My Children:
    • An Li tries to pull this on Brian as she knows that their Citizenship Marriage is ending now that she has her green card. While it works temporarily, friend Terrence browbeats her into admitting that she's lying, telling her that she is not the kind of cruel, deceitful person to pull a stunt like this.
    • Allie tries to pull this on Jake by not wearing her diaphragm. It backfired in two ways — when he found it after they had sex and dumped her, angry at her attempt at pulling this trope, and when she failed to conceive.
    • Speaking of Jake, when ex-girlfriend Liza asks him to father her baby (the very reason that the jealous Allie tried to pull the above-mentioned stunt), her ex-husband Adam enlists Allie to switch Jake's sperm sample for his. Liza unwittingly ends up pregnant with Adam's baby and not until after they've remarried and she's given birth does she learn the truth. She's horrified and outright says that Adam raped her.
    • Kendall tries to pull this with Anton... and, of course, it doesn't work. He doesn't believe her for a second, given how diligent she was about taking the pill. She caves in pretty quickly and tells the truth once he drags her to the doctor, who needs to give her a full set of tests and a needle, but Kendall is Afraid of Needles and freaks out, admitting she's lying.
    • Taylor tries to pull this on Noah, but it fails—he leaves her for Julia anyway, even though he makes it clear that he's not abandoning her and the baby. She desperately seduces a friend of hers hoping that he'll get her pregnant and she can pass the baby off as Noah's, but she fails to conceive from that either and ultimately has to resort to lying that she miscarried.
  • An unusual version on Big Love. Despite already being married to Bill and having two children with him, Nikki claims she wants another baby, even though she doesn't. This is because she knows that Bill is technically fooling around with his first wife Barb (he's not supposed to sleep with her on nights designated for the other wives) and is desperate to secure some of his affection (Nikki is fully aware that out of his three wives, she's The Unfavorite.)
  • A male version on The Bold and the Beautiful had Sly poking a hole in the condom so that he could "do the right thing" and marry his girlfriend Jessica — and get his hands on her money. It failed when he was too drunk to complete the deed.
    • A variation when Sheila did not intentionally get pregnant and is genuinely shocked to learn that she is. But sure enough, she uses her pregnancy to successfully drive a wedge between the baby's father and his wife.
  • In an early episode of Bones, this is what got the victim killed. She was sleeping with a foreign diplomat's husband, who showered her with gifts until he got bored with it. Her mother advised her that he'd do the right thing, so she attempted to reseduce him. When that didn't work, she went after his son instead.
  • In Blue Mountain State, a stalker named Ron, desperate to have a son to watch and play football with, along with being driven insane from having five daughters and no sons, steals a condom full of Alex's semen and threatens to impregnate one of his five daughters and make Alex his son-in-law if he doesn't keep dating said daughter. Alex and Thad manage to steal the condom back and to add insult to injury, Sammy impregnates the girl instead.
  • Boston Legal came up with a pretty good if extremely far-fetched argument for a court-ordered abortion, possibly inspired by one of the real-life examples below. A woman gave her boyfriend oral sex (to which he "barely consented"), then spat the semen into a cup and used it to impregnate herself and didn't tell him until she knew it worked. The man argued that he was tricked into impregnating the woman, and additionally, it imposed a dilemma upon him, as he was known to be outspoken on the issue of absentee black fathers and would have to choose between being a hypocrite or help raise a baby he didn't want. The judge admitted that the case was compelling, but not quite enough to warrant the extreme measure of ordering the woman to undergo an abortion.
  • Played with in Charmed (1998). After Cole is possessed by the Source, the Seer leads him in impregnating Phoebe, as the child of the Source and a Charmed One will be a being of immense magical power, and if they can control the circumstances of the conception, that power will fall under the Evil alignment. She even provides him with a potion to supercharge Phoebe's fertility and "bypass any precautions she may have taken." And the pregnancy is a major factor in Phoebe's decision to remain loyal to Cole and (temporarily) become the Queen of Hell. But ultimately, the Seer wanted the baby for herself so that she could use it to legitimately claim the title of Source, and even though possessed-Cole willingly went along with the plan, his goal wasn't to manipulate Phoebe, only to have a child (albeit, an extremely powerful and evil one).
  • Another unusual version on The Cosby Show, where the friend that Denise is planning a bridal shower for admits that she got pregnant on purpose, but not to make her boyfriend marry her, but so that their parents would allow them to (the couple was madly in love but both sets of parents were insisting that they wait to complete college before marrying).
  • Subverted in Coupling: Susan tells Steve, "don't worry about it" when he asks about whether they're using contraception. He later learns in an infertility specialist's office that unbeknownst to him, they've been "trying" for six months without success. Of course, Susan later discovers that she is pregnant, in what is debatable either playing it straight or a double subversion.
  • Criminal Minds features this with Kat Adams, revealing she's pregnant with Reid's child while playing mind games with him. There's been no sexual relationship, but he did have a blackout period after being drugged several months earlier, which is when she claims she had an accomplice... "get him in the mood." The paternity isn't technically proven, but the team determines the real father is a prison guard, since that would allow her to leverage him for months whereas she only needed to unsettle Reid for a few hours.
    JJ: Here's the thing? Do we believe her or not? On the one hand, getting pregnant is straight out of the female psychopath's handbook...
    Prentiss: But on the other hand, that would mean she sent her lesbian lover down to Mexico to... Ew.
  • A variation in the CSI episode "4x4". An aging non-prostitute tries to get herself pregnant by a client who rejected her as too old, via some semen in one of his used condoms. This being CSI, it ends badly for her.
  • A rare version on Days of Our Lives, where the man knew that he wasn't the father. After a teenage girl was raped, she only confided in her friend. When she learned she was pregnant, he claimed he was the father to spare her the humiliation of telling everyone what had happened to her. Desperate for some TLC after her ordeal, she began using the pregnancy to draw closer to him. When she miscarried after falling down, she blamed it on his girlfriend, putting the final nail in the coffin of their relationship, until she finally admitted that she'd tripped on her own, rather than being shoved.
  • Anya tries to do this with Sav on Degrassi: The Next Generation, but she ends up telling him and taking the morning-after pill.
  • On Desperate Housewives, this is how Orson ended up married to his first wife. Then after he divorced her and remarried, she raped him in order to get pregnant and trap him again.
    • Inverted in the case of Edie, who convinced Carlos to stay with her by promising she'd have a baby with him but continued secretly taking birth control.
    • For a bit of irony, before the incident with Edie, Carlos managed to get Gabrielle pregnant by sabotaging her birth control, then blaming it on his deceased mother. He wanted children, and she didn't. It ends badly for everyone involved.
  • This was the subject of a Dr. Phil episode and one couple involved a man having sex with his wife while she was asleep to get her pregnant. In the same episode, another woman deliberately sabotaged/stopped taking her birth control so she'd get pregnant. Of course, in both cases, the doctor tore right into them.
  • In The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Season Three episode "Mama's Baby, Carlton's Maybe" features a woman trying to do this to Carlton, who's too embarrassed to admit he never actually slept with her and thus goes along with pretending the kid was his.
  • Stacey attempts this in Gavin & Stacey; they're already married, but were living a long distance apart, and she wanted him to move to Wales to live with her. To make it worse, she's been trying to get pregnant for a year without his knowledge.
  • Terri on Glee discovers she's suffered a hysterical pregnancy and continues to lie to her husband about it in order to keep him. Meanwhile Quinn discovers she's pregnant and lies to her boyfriend Finn by telling him it's his when in actuality it's his best friend Puck's and she and Finn haven't even had sex. The two stories then merge when Terri contacts Quinn and tries to secretly take the baby. Needless to say, both relationships ended when the truth came out.
  • The Good Wife: One of sleazy rich guy Colin Sweeney's ex-girlfriends sues him for child support, but he insists he always used condoms with her. Then the paternity test comes back positive. David Lee theorizes, correctly, that she impregnated herself with a used condom... and Sweeney is so impressed by her audacity that he settles the case and starts dating her again for the next couple seasons.
  • In Grimm, after Adalind gets pregnant with Sean Renard's child, she tries to pass it off as the child of Sean's half-brother Eric, the rightful son of the King, especially since she's currently sleeping with Eric in order to get in the Royals' good graces. After Eric's death, some of the Royals wonder who the real father is, but, in the end, it doesn't matter to them, since the child is still a Renard and has Royal blood. Later, after she finds out she's pregnant with Nick's baby, she tries to pass it off as Viktor's (Eric's cousin) child, despite the fact that they never had sex. Kenneth (another Royal) tells her, in a "by the way" manner, that Viktor is sterile.
  • Guiding Light had Annie damaging her diaphragm rather than the condom. It backfired for the same reason — husband Josh had told her he wanted to wait to have kids and her deception was the last straw. She miscarried and framed his ex Reva for manslaughter by making it look like she'd pushed her down the stairs.
  • In How I Met Your Mother season 2, Lily considered doing this to prevent Marshall from falling for Chloe. The alternative is called "Chloe's accident".
    • When Lily left him, Marshall laments that he should have 'knocked her up when he had the chance'.
  • Jane the Virgin: Petra planned to have a baby with her infertile-due-to-cancer husband's last sperm sample in order to save their marriage so she could get the money specified in their prenup. Unfortunately for her, her gynecologist and sister-in-law accidentally inseminate Jane instead. Later, upon learning that there's another sperm sample after Rafael breaks up with her, Petra uses it to impregnate herself in what she admits is a ploy to get him back. This time the pregnancy takes.
  • In L.A. Law, a woman sues a rich Basketball player for child support. It was implied that she insisted that the man use the condom she provided when they had sex, and she had intentionally damaged the condom to produce a child, all for the money. When the man requested that she give him sole custody of the child, she got big 'money eyes' and quoted a price of five million dollars. The Basketball player's lawyers warned him that the agreement was non-enforceable, and she could well come back for more money in the future.
  • Law & Order: Criminal Intent: Used a couple of times
    • In one episode, the wife sabotaged her husband's condoms and secretly gave him some fertility drugs to boost his sperm count in order to impregnate her boss. She did this because she had planned on blackmailing her boss at a later date into giving her some money so she could buy a farm and a horse.
    • Another episode was about a woman who got pregnant by her rich boyfriend. She chose to keep the baby despite the fact that she was aware the baby might have a potentially serious birth defect and even went out of her way to find a doctor who wouldn't run the relevant tests. Then, when her husband died and she wanted more money, she tried to sue the aforementioned doctor for malpractice for not running said tests.
  • An unusual male example occurs in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit with a narcissistic man who pokes holes in condoms to force women to have his children. He's not particularly interested in staying in a relationship with any of these women, he just thinks the world would benefit from having lots of his offspring around. He personally thinks that he's a great father, as he financially supports all of them, but the mothers, naturally, don't. It finally ends badly for him, when one of the women he was trying to get pregnant decides to strike back. Also sort of done in another episode where a 16-year-old was raped by her dentist uncle and was trying to get him to confess while cops were listening. At first, he denies everything until she mentions being late and pregnant. He tells her to calm down and that she can't possibly be pregnant due to him having gotten a vasectomy. Whoops. Nick sums it up nicely: I've never met a bad man that wasn't afraid of a baby. Read more:
  • Subverted on Lost when Claire gets pregnant despite being on the pill. At first, her boyfriend is supportive and convinces her to keep the baby. Once the reality of the situation hits him he turns around and accuses her of lying about taking her birth control to get him to stay with her. Claire rightfully calls him out on his selective memory and after he leaves makes arrangements to have the child adopted.
  • Married... with Children: An inversion happens in one episode, an elderly Bundy relative dies and leaves all his money to the next Bundy to conceive a child. Hoping to cash in, Al persuades Peggy to try having another child but secretly takes birth control pills since she doesn't want more kids, and is just using the situation to have as much sex as she wants (the stress of which makes Al age prematurely).
  • There are times that some of the women on Maury seem this way. Although, instead of convincing the man to marry them, they usually seem to just want to extract child support out of them, since more than a few basically say they want nothing to do with him except for a check every month.
  • A woman tries this in an episode of Monk. In a twist, she isn't actually pregnant, although her receptionist is. The woman used the receptionist's urine to get a positive pregnancy test for the trap. Regardless, it doesn't end well.
  • This happened to Mork on an episode of Mork & Mindy. The woman was trying to extort child-support hush money from Mork, and poor Mork was too naive to know that Earth women don't get pregnant if you don't have sex with them.
  • In The Office (US), Kelly tells Ryan she is pregnant to get him to agree to go out with her again. Immediate cut to Kelly silently shaking her head at the camera.
    Ryan: You lied about being pregnant.
    Kelly: Right. So?
    Ryan: You really don't understand why that might make me kind of angry?
    Kelly: No!
    Ryan: We are never getting back together.
    Kelly: [whining] Why not?
  • One Life to Live had Blair ensnaring Todd this way to get her hands on his money. Todd became suspicious after her ex-husband Asa warned him that Blair had pulled the same stunt on him and demanded that she take a pregnancy test. Much to her shock and relief, it was positive—Blair had in fact conceived at some point. But she was still found out months later when she miscarried and Todd realized she wasn't as far along as she should have been.
  • This happens more than once Peaky Blinders, first starting with Grace, who uses it as leverage so that Tommy is forced to pick her over May and Lizzie after Grace cheats on her husband with Tommy and they are married in Season Three, then happens again with Lizzie in Season Four after she gets pregnant with Tommy's daughter. Like with Grace, he marries her shortly after.
  • Sophie, Mark's baby-desperate (ex?) wife on Peep Show tries to trap Mark and/or his roommate Jez this way, although it was pretty clear that having a baby was her first priority, not a romantic relationship with either of the guys.
  • Reba: In the episode "Locked and Loaded", Brock gets his vasectomy reversed, but decides not to tell Barbra Jean since he believes that having another baby would help solve their marital problems. Reba forces Brock to tell Barbra Jean the truth. She doesn't react well at all and not only forces Brock to sleep on the couch, but the two announce their separation the next day (fortunately, they ultimately stay together.)
  • Revenge
    • Victoria apparently faked a pregnancy to get Conrad to marry her and then faked a Convenient Miscarriage to cover it up.
    • Emily later does the same thing when Daniel decides to call off the wedding because he realized that he was still in love with his ex-girlfriend. It shows how far into Revenge Before Reason Emily has slipped. When Daniel finds out the truth, he takes it very badly and shoots Emily.
  • Santa Barbara's Kirk Cranston successfully impregnated his rich wife Eden Capwell after replacing her birth control pills with placebos. He wanted his child to receive the largest share of the Capwell inheritance, and he also believed that through his child, he would become related to the Capwell family by blood.
  • Saturday Night Live:
    • Discussed in a Weekend Update bit with Pete Davidson back when he was engaged to Ariana Grande. He's so afraid she's gonna leave him that he considers switching her birth control with sugar pills so she can't.
    • A Season 47 episode has Jason Sudeikis as the Devil accuses Colin Jost of pulling the baby trap to stay with Scarlett Johansson, who was pregnant at the time.
  • Scoundrels (2010): Cal doesn't think much when Nina Hong, the Trophy Wife of his boss, decides to seduce him and have non-stop sex with him for a while (mostly because it's the best sex he's ever had). Later, he finds out Mr. Hong is actually infertile and Nina seduced him in order to get pregnant and pass Cal's child as Mr. Hong's, so she could secure her gold ticket as Mr. Hong's wife. Cal is horrified when he finds out and tries to convince her to get him to be a part of the child's life, but she laughs him off and makes it clear her husband will kill him if Cal ever exposes the truth.
  • Scrubs:
    • Carla tries to do this with Turk. Later, she and Turk have an open and honest discussion in which they agree they both want to have kids ... after which he starts slipping her contraceptives when she's asleep.
    • This is completely inverted with Jordan, who actually lies to Perry and claims the baby isn't his, because they both have feelings for each other and she wants to make sure their relationship is based on real attraction rather than an obligation to do the right thing. They get together anyway, and he bonds with the baby before finding out he's the biological father.
    • Also inverted with Kim, who leaves the hospital and fakes a miscarriage rather than have J.D. feel trapped in a relationship. Then he finds out the truth and decides he wants to be with her, then he changes his mind but can't tell her, then he finally breaks off the relationship while she's giving birth.
  • On The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Adrian plans to try this on Ben in an attempt to save their marriage since they only got married because Adrian was pregnant, and their relationship started to deteriorate after their daughter was stillborn. Since things were great when she was pregnant, she seems to think another baby will fix things. Ultimately, she gives up on the plan when her doctor talks her out of it and when Ben finds out her plan, keeps rejecting her advances, and finally confronts her about it. Though it seems he was willing to go along with it and genuinely sad when she really "wanted out".
  • Early in Single Father, Rita mentions to Sarah that she wants another baby and intends to have one without talking to her partner about it. Sarah expresses shock, but it's revealed at the end of the series that Sarah purposely got pregnant by Dave and didn't intend to tell him.
  • In Smallville, there's a male example in which Lex Luthor does this to Lana Lang. It's even more of a dick move than most because the baby isn't real; he's been slipping her hormones to make her think she's pregnant, likely intending to play the Convenient Miscarriage card on her after the wedding.
    • Not to mention that the doctor who reveals this to Lana accuses her of trying this on Lex. Admittedly it would make more sense that way to an outsider...
  • Seska, of Star Trek: Voyager, uses her pregnancy to manipulate both Chakotay and the Kazon Culluh, telling both of them the child was theirs in order to get what she wants. In Chakotay's case, the baby is used as bait for a literal trap, as she's counting on Voyager to come rescue him so that the Kazon can seize the ship. It's Culluh's, and Seska's manipulations end when she's mortally wounded in an explosion, and Culluh escapes with his son.
  • In Weeds, there's a rare male case; Silas Botwin does this to Meghan to keep her from going away to college. Apparently, he thought this would lead to them becoming Happily Married. It does not go well.
    • Later, Nancy does it to Esteban. This was less about maintaining a relationship than self-defense against murder.
  • The Young and the Restless: Sharon technically does this to Nick even though they're actually very Happily Married. But she's insecure about the relationship (his mother dislikes her) and figures this is the best way to hang onto him. It pays off, as her mother-in-law finally warms up to her once news of the pregnancy gets out.

  • 2Pac references it in his song "Do for Love"
    Soon as I broke away and I'm feeling happy, you try to trap me,
    You say you're pregnant and guess who's the daddy?
  • Dr. Dre 2001 had a track with comedian Eddie Griffin ranting about this:
    Tell the kid! "Mama was a ho. I was weak and pussy. I had you to keep the nigga. It didn't work out".
  • Referenced in the early '70s song Stick-Up by Honey Cone:
    I'll set a tender trap,
    He'll be unaware,
    I'll wear a smile down the aisle,
    'Cause he's the father of my child.
  • Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" is about this. Namely, all the "Billie Jeans" his older brothers had to deal with when they were together in the Jackson 5. The song is ambiguous about whether the narrator really is the father.
  • "Stupid Marriage" by The Specials is a song about a young woman who does this:
    He wanted to be something but she knows he never will,
    She's got him where she wanted and forgot to take her pill,
    And he thinks that she'll be happy when she's hanging out the nappies
    If that's a happy marriage I'd prefer to be unhappy.
  • Die Toten Hosen "Sekt oder Selters". Whereas it's somewhat disputable that the female was actively involved (could also be the usual irresponsibility of the male part), the rest of the trope is played straight as hell. (The worst thing: no more binge drinking with his buddies.)

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Done many, many times. The most obvious recent one is Kane doing this to Lita, though he was as much trying to gain an heir for himself as to keep her around. Terri Runnels and Stephanie McMahon (kayfabe) each faked a pregnancy to try and trap Val Venis and Triple H, respectively. It didn't really end well for any of these examples.
    • Stephanie's false pregnancy was found out in a most ingenious way though - Linda discovered that Steph's "doctor" was actually some infomercial host, and showed Triple H the evidence a few minutes before the trap would have been sprung.

  • In "Marry The Man Today" from Guys and Dolls, Sarah suggests this as one way to keep a husband from straying:
    Sarah: Have a baby.
    Adelaide: Have two!
    Sarah: Six!
    Adelaide: Nine!
    Sarah: Stop!

    Video Games 
  • This provides the motive for the murder in the Criminal Case: The Conspiracy case Buzz Kill. Beckett Blanton, the victim, was in a Friends with Benefits relationship with his business partner Prisha Chandra. However, while she was fine with their relationship being like this, Beckett wanted them to be a couple. To accomplish this, he swapped out her birth control with placebos to knock her up without her knowledge. This led to Prisha knocking him into a set of beehives and killing him, albeit accidentally.
  • In Delicious: Emily's Miracle of Life, Mary-Lynn pulls this to try to get her boyfriend Andy to stay with her. It doesn't work, however the next installment, Emily's Moms vs. Dads has Andy attempting to win Mary-Lynn back after the baby is born.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X plays this for laughs in one of the sidequests: A Nopon woman attempts to pull one of these... except she isn't actually pregnant, so she tries to use a badly-made doll in the place of a baby.

    Visual Novels 
  • In CLANNAD, in Kappei's path, Kappei is borderline suicidal after learning his leg has to be amputated. His girlfriend Ryou, desperate to give him a reason to live, lies about being pregnant with his child. Kappei sees through it right away, though, since he and Ryou have never had sex (Ryou had somehow forgotten this minor detail when putting the plan together). Nonetheless, that she would go to such lengths impresses on him the fact that she truly loves him and would feel terrible if he died, so he begins to turn his attitude around.
  • In her Love Suite Event in Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony, Miu Iruma tries to invoke this on Shuichi Saihara, believing it is the only way to make sure that he would not abandon her too.
  • A self imposed example in The Eden of Grisaia. Unable to pick just one girl to commit himself to, Yuuji decides that he'll marry the first one that gets pregnant but doesn't tell them. However, four of the five use birth control. When they're finally told what's going on when the last girl does get pregnant, they ruin the plan by planning to get pregnant themselves.

    Web Animation 
  • Etra-chan saw it!:
    • Akamatsu falls into this while he was cheating on his fiancé Yuri with a hostess, Akane, with the latter saying she was pregnant with his baby, forcing him to marry her instead.
    • Yuzuriha drugs Tokusa inside her house in an attempt to make him think that he impregnated her, in reality, she was already pregnant with Hiiragi's baby. Fortunately, Tokusa was able to run away from Yuzuriha's scheme, and also exposed her and Hiiragi to the campus and the latter's household.
  • Manga-Waido:
    • In this video, Ai tries to fool Kota by claiming that she was pregnant with his baby, but he knew the baby wasn't his because he was infertile. Using this knowledge, Kota exposes Ai's affair in front of her father with a lot of evidence, causing her to be disowned.
    • Akira tells his pregnant lover to sleep with Kouichi to fool him into believing that the baby was his. Fortunately, the lover spills everything to Kouichi when he refused to sleep with her.
  • MoniRobo:
    • "My wife cheated on me to make me jealous, and got pregnant…": Sari blurted out she was pregnant while her husband Kei confronted her for her affair. She tried to reassure Kei that the baby was his, but he doesn't fall for it since he was infertile and divorces her.
    • "After my wife kept denying to sleep with me, one day she begged to have my child…": Yuko tries to sleep with her husband Tamanosuke to make him think that he was the father of the baby, which was conceived from her affair with Naoto, who she was initially hoping would marry her due to her pregnancy. Fortunately, Tamanosuke already knows about her affair and continues to refuse to sleep with her until she is confirmed to be pregnant via a pregnancy test, prompting him to divorce her.
    • "My boyfriend got my subordinate pregnant..." features a successful example of one; Manami got both Satsuki and her fiancé Takuya hammered so she could take the latter to a love hotel, sleep with him, and bear his child. Despite being forced to pay Satsuki's compensation fees, she got away with it for five years until Takuya found out via a DNA test that the child wasn't even his, which prompts him to divorce her.
  • Revenge Films: Rachel suggests Thea do this to the latter's boyfriend (who is the former's ex-boyfriend) in order to avoid being dumped. Thea tries to pull this at his workplace, which resulted in the man being let go. He tried to apply for work elsewhere only for the same to occur there too. Furthermore, he couldn't take it anymore and ran away.

  • How to be a Werewolf: Flora tried to force her werewolf boyfriend to stay with her by letting her birth control spells lapse while lying to him about it. He didn't appreciate it, but still tried to get her to accept help from his pack, since otherwise the pregnancy would kill her due to the nature of her magic. Flora refused, and found a much more horrific solution.
  • For a rare variant in Joyce and Walky! it's the mother of the woman who pokes holes in her future son-in-law's condoms, because she's that desperate for grandchildren. It's implied in a few timelines it works, as the moment Walky discovers Carol poking holes, fifteen of the kids from the future the Head Alien kidnapped disappeared.
  • In Something*Positive, Faye once considers doing this to her son Davan and his then-girlfriend Branwen, because she wants grandkids. Her husband Fred is rather surprised, since she's usually the sane one in the family.

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 
  • Parodied in the 5 Second Films video "The One". A guy and a girl are about to do the deed, and she asks him if he's sure that she's the one for him. He reassures her, and is then shown poking holes in his condom while whispering that he's gonna make her "the one". Still quite creepy.
  • In one of Thomas Sanders' "Siri's a bitch" Vines, she pulls this on him.
    Thomas: Siri, can you—
    Siri: Thomas, I'm pregnant and it's yours.
    Thomas: What?! You told me you were on the pill!
    Siri: I lied.
    Thomas: Gasp!

    Western Animation 
  • American Dad!: Stan and Francine once did this to another couple, who they befriended without knowing the other couple were about ten years younger than them and found it impossible to keep up with their hard-drinking, active lifestyle. Rather than give up the friendship (knowing that the couple had previously drifted apart from their last friends for this same reason) Stan and Francine tried to slow them down by sabotaging their birth control, thinking that having a baby would make them just as exhausted. It doesn't work, the couple almost divorces over it due to neither feeling ready to have a child and when Stan admits what they did, they stay together but never want to see the Smiths again.
  • Bee and Puppycat: Toast gets pregnant in order to force her residency with the father's family, although it's the baby's aunt she's trying to trap since she's obsessed with the aunt as her one-sided rival. The father seems totally fine with the situation and the only part that fazes him is his sister's furious reaction.
  • Family Guy:
    • In an episode, Stewie pulls this on Brian in order to salvage their friendship. How he does this is very disturbing. Ironically, he didn't even need to do this, as the reason it seemed they were drifting apart was because of a mutual misunderstanding (Brian seemed distant because he thought Stewie was moody, Stewie seemed moody because Brian was distant).
    • Played for laughs in one episode which revolved around Meg having a huge crush on a classmate who turned out to be gay. After the disastrous events of the episode, Brian tells her she'll find someone someday, by using this trope in college.
      Brian: All it takes is for one guy to make one drunk mistake, and you refusing to do what any sane woman would. You got him, Meg, you got him for life!
      Meg: [sincerely] Thanks, Brian!
  • King of the Hill:
    • In an episode, Donna mentions on her blog that she wants a baby, then jokes that she might conveniently "forget" to take her birth control pill before a date.
    • In a separate episode, Bobby pranks Luanne by replacing her birth control with sweet tarts. The change was obvious but Luanne and Bobby's parents, tired of the pranking, convince Bobby that the birth control just stopped working, and she would immediately become pregnant, with him as the father, forcing him to "marry" her. But Hank and Peggy one-up them and get Luanne back as well for her involvement by tricking her into thinking that Bill is actually a priest and she really is married to Bobby.

Alternative Title(s): Baby Trap