They can be sweet and romantic. They can be cheesy. They can be over-the-top. They can outright fail and/or be a waste of money and a potential source of humiliation.
Promposals (that is, "Prom" + "Proposal") are modeled on traditional stylized marriage proposals. Though besides Prom, they can be used for other kinds of High School Dances. In these modern years, it's increasingly very Truth in Television for high schoolers, male and female, to do this. Compare Wacky Marriage Proposal.
- In one commercial for insurance company Allstate, mascot Mayhem takes the form of a promposal gone wrong, with the candles used to spell the word "Prom?" being blown by the wind onto leaves, setting them (and the house) ablaze. The father of the girl being proposed to subsequently runs out and extinguishes the fire with a fire extinguisher.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW): Shining Armor did something quite elaborate when he asked out Cadence. One wonders how he topped it for the actual marriage proposal.
- Oh God, Not Again!: Harry, Ron, and Neville ask Luna, Hermione, and Ginny, respectively, to the Yule Ball in elaborate fashions — Harry has a female Crumple-Horned Snorkack deliver Luna a note, Neville gifts Ginny with some fine Honeydukes chocolate, and Ron has Hedwig deliver Hermione a bouquet of roses. The girls all say yes, but the rest of Hogwarts' male population is annoyed at the idea that they now have to do something of equal measure or above to ask out their dates.
Draco: WAY TO GO, POTTER. NOW WE'VE GOT TO PUT SOME THOUGHT INTO THIS!
- Promposal, a Young Adult novel by Rhonda Helms that, as the title indicates, a promposal. Part of the blurb says, "Camilla can't help hoping her secret crush, Benjamin, might randomly surprise her out of the blue with a promposal. However, when she's asked to prom by an irritating casual acquaintance—wearing a fancy tux and standing in front of a news crew—she's forced to say yes."
- In Awkward., we have "An Indecent Promposal", in which it's, well, Promposal season at high school. For example, Jake asks Gabby to prom by serenading her with an original song in the library.
- The Big Leap: While visiting Gabby and Justin's old high school in episode five, a student asks Reggie to help him ask his girlfriend to Homecoming. Simon intervenes to make it a loud, over-the-top affair because he is "six for six" on proposals. At the end he's seven for seven.
- One episode of Modern Family had Mitchell and Cam planning a promposal for Luke. Cam wanted a big production, while Mitchell suggested that Luke try the simple approach.
- One Day At a Time: Syd invites their girlfriend Elena to prom to the tune of ''We Didn't Start The Fire''. Amusingly, this came right after Elena told her brother that he didn't need to do anything fancy when asking someone to a dance.
Harriet Tubman, Mass Effect, Frida Kahlo, full respect,
Queer theory, gender theory, notorious RBG,
Women’s march, science march, labor march,
Tax march, equal rights, bathroom rights,
Diversity on TV,
Slam poets, Supergirl, you’re the cutest in the world,
Bell hooks, Pokémon, cookie om-nom-nom-nom-nom!
L Word, Will & Grace, RuPaul's Drag Race,
Shantay, you stay, what else do I have to say?
You set my heart on fire,
On that day when I didn’t know if you were gay,
You set my heart on fire,
So please say yes, you don’t even have to wear a dress.
- In the season 1 finale of The Real O'Neals, both Jimmy and Kenny want to do an elaborate promposal, Jimmy to his crush and Kenny to the only other (openly) gay student in the school, the Swedish exchange student. Unfortunately both of them get asked to prom by different people. Jimmy's crush gets asked by another guy, and the exchange student gets asked out by a newly out of the closet Stuart.
- American Vandal: Season one features a promposal in which a guy shoves his girlfriend into a pool and then holds out a towel to her as she swims out with the promposal spray-painted on it. This interaction becomes a key moment in the central mystery.
- A plot in Zits has Jeremy brainstorm some ways to ask Sara to the prom. His successful attempt is making a print in her latte.
- Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me: The 05/14/16 edition of "Who's Bill This Time?" had Amy Dickinson compare Paul Ryan waffling on endorsing Donald Trump for president to a promposal.
Peter Grosz: I would love it if, like, at the convention Trump gives a speech, and then just stands up and holds a boom box over his head that plays "In Your Eyes" and then there's, like, a light that focuses on Paul Ryan's seat, and he looks around, like "Me? Is it me?"
- In Episode 10 of The Most Popular Girls in School, Mackenzie is asked out by her boyfriend this way when he tapes a giant red heart to her locker with the words "PROM?" on it.
- Season 2 of RWBY has one bordering on Love Dodecahedron. Jaune tries to ask Weiss to the school dance with a guitar song. She slams the door in his face. He later asks Pyrrha for advice, and she tells him to just straight-up ask her normally. Of course, Pyrrha wants to go with him, though he thinks that being a renowned fighter she's inundated with proposals. In the meantime, Weiss asks Sun's friend Neptune.
- Vampire Cheerleaders: During the "Vampire Cheerleaders Must Die!" arc, Katie and Leonard get roped into going to the prom together as part of Stephanie's plan to get them in, so they could expose Lori and her Coven. Katie's forced to dress up as a Dialek and carry a sign asking him out... in front of the entire school. She's utterly humiliated even though he accepts.
- Scott The Woz: The "Homecoming" video has a section on how a big part of the homecoming dance was asking someone out, with Scott describing it as "flashiness over function." He says all you need is a memorable approach and a pun involved. Cut to Scott holding a stick of butter in his hand, holding a poster board reading, "You butter go to homecoming with me."
- Clone High has an entire episode dedicated to promposals, with such memorable affairs as Nostradamus popping out of the chest of a horse holding a horse fetus, which then asks Helen of Troy if she would go the prom with him. This is considered mediocre by the standards of the school.
- In 6teen's "Snow Job", Jonsey presents a wrist corsage to Nikki while asking her to be his date for their school's Winter Wonderland dance—just like how a man would present a wedding ring to his future wife. She accepts as she cries Tears of Joy, and they embrace in a kiss (resignifying their status as a couple).
- The Owl House's "Enchanting Grom Fright" uses this to reveal an important plot point going forward; Amity has a crush on Luz and wanted to take them out to Grom with her. Of course, in this instance, Amity is actually inviting them to help her fight a demon that shapeshifts into peoples' fears and annually has to be fought back into it's containment before it escapes to wreak havoc, but the romantic meaning of prom is still there. Ironically, Luz does see the proposal after Amity comes to help her fight Grom, but due to Grom tearing the proposal up, she doesn't see who it's addressed to. While she does dance with Amity, she remains unaware that Amity wanted to go to Grom with her.
- A more comedic example earlier in the episode has a student be announced by two paramedics as having a disease that can only be cured via a Grom proposal. In response, the student gives Skara a beating heart with "GROM" written on it in blood as a proposal. She accepts.
- We Bare Bears: In "Log Ride", a boy does this during the titular ride, holding a sign that reads "PROM?" while his picture is being taken.
- Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts: Kipo decides to throw a dance to mend relationships between humans and mutes, naming it P.R.A.H.M. (Party Reconciling All Humans and Mutes, pronounced "prom"). She also decides to stage an elaborate P.R.A.H.M.-posal, consisting of a parade float and song and dance routine, so that the mutes know they're serious.
- Meanwhile, Benson worries about his own P.R.A.H.M.-posal to Troy, but ultimately decides to just ask. Troy's father then pops up with a large bouquet of roses, indicating that Troy was about to P.R.A.H.M-pose himself.