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With This Ring

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Whoops. One of the many mishaps that can befall a ring before engagement or marriage (or sometimes after).

A guy (usually) proposes to his (usually) girl. She accepts. The music swells. It's all very sweet. He produces the ring, and puts it on her left ring finger. It should be that simple.

It never is. This trope is about the wacky mishaps that can happen to a ring, the guy planning to offer it, or the woman who may be accepting it.

The trope is often suspended or blown off in animation because of recycling shots and budget considerations. So engaged and/or married characters don't tend to have visible rings. On the occasions when someone in an animated show has a ring they bothered to draw, it's usually a clue that the ring is a MacGuffin or an Artifact of Doom or that the engagement is going to fail for one reason or another.

Engagement ring tropes:

  • The guy worries that he cannot find or afford the ring of his girl's dreams.
  • The ring is lost in some zany mix-up.
  • The ring is hidden and somebody else finds it, believing it's for them, and the hapless guy has to get it back without upsetting the woman who has found it.
  • The engagement is broken off and the ring returned to the guy, who fails to dispose of it. His new lover finds it by accident and is led to believe he is about to propose.
  • The ring is an heirloom.
  • The ring is a fake.
  • The ring is part of a big presentation over dinner. It'll be at the bottom of a champagne flute or on the dessert plate. Nine times out of ten, this results in the unsuspecting woman swallowing the ring whole.
  • The ring is part of a big presentation at a sporting event, and the popped question shows up on the lighted jumbotron, to the delight or dismay of the person being asked.
  • The guy doesn't have a ring, but he wants to propose anyway. He improvises with a cigar band or a ring that's not meant for that purpose, or anything that will fit on her finger. (For added humor, sometimes this ersatz ring won't come off afterward).
  • The Rich Bitch or Gold Digger will announce outright she won't settle for anything less than a huge diamond.

The wedding ring, in many western countries, is worn on the left hand due to an archaic belief that the ring finger of the left hand has a vein that leads directly to the heart. Some old folk tales say that if a woman wears any ring on that finger while a maiden, she will never marry.

See also Old, New, Borrowed and Blue for when the engagement ring does make it all the way to the wedding, at which point we get wedding ring tropes:

Wedding ring tropes:

  • Did the best man remember the rings?
    • He did, all is well.
    • He didn't, we'll have to improvise!
  • A woman knows the gorgeous, sweet man she's falling for is married because she can see the tan line around where he took off his wedding ring so he could go cruising for women.
  • A frightened wife or nervous person will twirl their wedding ring around and around. (Sometimes it happens with a ring that isn't marriage related.)
  • The Discredited Trope version: a woman is washing the dishes without her yellow rubber gloves on, and the wedding ring goes down the drain. Cue panicked call to the plumber.
  • Cross-Cultural Kerfluffle when bride and groom come from different cultures wherein the ring is not worn on the hand each expects it to be worn upon.
  • The ring is fake.
  • The ring is stolen.

The claddagh, known colloquially as the Irish Wedding Ring, is worn with the heart pointing toward the wearer if they are married (crown pointing away); and with the heart pointing away from the wearer if they are available. Similarly, Hawaiian tradition indicates a woman is spoken for if she wears a flower behind her left ear, rather than a ring.

The widow finger is the opposite finger. A woman or man whose spouse has died switches the ring to the opposite hand. Wearing a wedding ring on the "wrong" hand is sometimes considered a tell for being gay and on the make. Widows also occasionally wear their wedding ring around their neck on a chain.

Damaged relationship ring tropes:

  • Cuckolded spouses may destroy the ring, pawn it, or give it away as if it were a worthless trinket. Usually in this case, it's a female destroying the ring.
  • Divorcees may, to celebrate the final dissolution of the marriage, smash their wedding ring with a sledgehammer.
  • An engaged woman may toss the ring down a sewer or the drain or the toilet if she believes she's been cheated on.
  • On rare occasions, the engaged woman will put the ring back in the box and give it back, as is appropriate etiquette-wise for when an engagement is broken.
    • The woman will also just hand back the ring when the engagement breaks, etiquette-wise, if it's an "at the altar" thing.

There are of course, ring tropes that don't revolve around the wedding and marriage, which may also fit under this catch-all trope involving rings.

See also Lost Wedding Ring.

The Young Justice fanfic "With This Ring", which has nothing to do with weddings, is found here.


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  • There's a commercial where the best man loses the ring just before the ceremony, and he and the groom rack their brains over it and start searching themselves, leading to the best man having to strip near naked before the thing is found. He and the groom whoop for joy, and celebrate with a hug, and then the bride and everyone sees them...
  • An Air New Zealand commercial from the mid-2000's had a guy, after three failed proposal attempts, fly his girlfriend to Sydney and propose to her in a hot air balloon. When he gets down on one knee, he accidentally flings the engagement ring overboard and into the Sydney Harbour below.
  • An ad for SpecSavers has a couple sitting by a lake, and the girl is trying to skip stones without success. The nervous looking boyfriend reaches into his pocket and brings out a ring box, which he extends towards her. The girl looks delighted, takes the box, and then throws it at the lake, skipping it across the surface. Cue the tagline "Should have gone to SpecSavers".

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Define Normal, for their mock marriage, Skylar proposes to Emily with the amethyst ring that Emily wears all the time.
  • Hayate the Combat Butler takes a full swing at this trope in The End Of The World flashback arc. While he was a kid, Hayate worked hard and finally was able to buy a ring for Athena. Unfortunately, it's a ring for an adult, so their six-year-old forms can't wear them yet. Athena responds by offering Hayate a similar ring, and the vows and rings are exchanged and they promise to marry when they get older. Hayate then goes and gives the ring he got to his parents, who take and sell it to a pawn shop. Athena gets angry at Hayate when he returns later, presumably having seen what happened.
    • The ring is later seen by Yukiji, given how it's priced, it seems possible that the ring is a fake.
    • The ring that Athena kept a hold of returns to the story when the group makes a trip out to Athens during their Golden Week vacation. First it's admired, and then left out in the open, by her when she's seen Hayate again, not having known where he was for the intervening years. Then Hayate notices it and picks it up. She also gave the ring-box (empty) to Nagi, his current master before she disappears at the end of the arc.
    • It's not seen when he gives it back, but Athena later shows it as proof that it is her when he's questioning his sight.
  • Rurouni Kenshin: One episode of the anime featured a man who bought a ring to propose to his loved one but then he saw her with another man, misunderstood and threw it away. When he learned the other man was just an old friend, he tried to kill himself and that's when Sanosuke saw him. Fortunately, Sasuke recognized the ring as the one Kenshin found inside a fish he caught. Unfortunately, Megumi saw Kenshin with the ring and thought he intended to propose to Kaoru and then pushed him into giving it to her (it was the proper Japanese Holiday for this kind of thing). Until being told the story, Kenshin thought Kaoru took it as a birthday gift. When he learned the truth, he was too scared to resemble the legendary man-slayer.
  • In Spy X Family, Loid lost the ring he was going to use when asking Yor to pretend to be his wife. So he uses the pin of a grenade he threw at some mooks as a substitute wedding ring.

  • In one of Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara's sketches, Stiller's character (a Jewish bagel baker) uses a bagel in lieu of a ring.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman: The Batman Adventures #16, a comic book based on Batman: The Animated Series, had a story in which Harley Quinn convinces the Joker to marry her by claiming she has inherited a fortune. When he proposes, without any ring, she snaps, "What kind of a floozy do you think I am? After all these years, you better have a ring!" He improvises by pulling the ring out of a hand grenade and putting it on her finger, leading to 'fireworks' behind them as they kiss. In a deranged sort of way, as you might expect from that pair, it was actually kind of heartwarming.
  • Before Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan: In the reality where Jon never became Dr. Manhattan, he proposes to Janey by hiding a ring inside a stuffed bear he arranges for her to win at a carnival sideshow.
  • Green Lantern: As cool as the gesture would be, Green Lantern's can not give up their rings as an engagement gesture.
    • Kyle Rayner, however, did it anyway, since he had a spare ring to hand.
      • He sort of tacked the proposal on at the end of an invitation for Jade to become another Green Lantern (her natural powers had been lost several dozen issues previous), though. And she did turn down the marriage proposal, although she kept the ring.
    • The Corps rules don't apply to Alan Scott, since he's not an official member. And he did (temporarily) give his ring to Molly Maynne when he (finally - and impulsively) married her. (Presumably it was promptly replaced by an ordinary wedding band.)
      • In the New 52 reboot of Earth 2, Alan got engaged just before the horrific train accident where his lover was killed and he was given his powers. The engagement ring, now a Tragic Keepsake, became his power ring.
  • Nightwing: Nightwing (New 52) finds Nightwing rescuing an old circus acquaintance from his crazed, demon summoning ex-fianceé Zohna, who was using the ring with which Jimmy had proposed to fuel an unholy soul binding ceremony. Once Nightwing rescued him, Jimmy tossed the ring down a sewer grate.
  • The Outsiders: In Batman and the Outsiders, Sapphire Stagg was abducted from her wedding to Metamorpho. After she was rescued, best man Geo-Force admitted he had lost the rings during the battle. Metamorpho used his powers to form two gold rings out of his body so the wedding could go ahead.
  • Spider-Man: Back before the One More Day nightmare, when Mary Jane was missing and presumed dead, Peter Parker switched his wedding band to the widower finger. This resulted in an amusing misunderstanding when a guy hit on him, mistaking him for being gay.
  • Superman: Pre-crisis Superman squeezed a lump of coal into a diamond so he could propose to Lois Lane. No ring, but, that's impressive enough.
    • Post-crisis Superman had a message to Lois and an S-shield engraved on the inside of the diamond.
      Clark: You'll need an electron microscope to see it though.
      Lois: I was wondering what we'd do for fun on our honeymoon.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Mirage): Casey Jones starts to propose to April with a ring his grandmother gave him... which the Foot promptly shows up and steals, because it's a magical artifact. Casey panics, but April makes a ring out of a flower and gives it to him, telling him to please continue.

    Comic Strips 
  • 9 Chickweed Lane did a fakeout on the readers by making it appear Amos had bought an engagement ring. It was really a Captain Midnight decoder ring. Whether it turns out to be an engagement ring anyway remains to be seen.

     Fan Works 
  • RE-TAKE: In the ending of After, Shinji flies to Germany to meet Asuka again. Right when she thinks that her pride will get in the way of her heart again, he asks her to close her eyes for a second. When she opens them, she is wearing an engagement ring.
  • The Bolt Chronicles: In “The Rings,” Bolt loses the title objects he has been entrusted with on Penny’s wedding day, and he and Mittens improvise with Cracker Jacks decoder ring prizes as replacements. Later, Bolt and Mittens stage their own private marriage-style ceremony using the newly-found wedding rings, placing the title objects over each other’s rolled up right ear.
  • The Child of Love: Shinji buys an engagement ring to give Asuka during her birthday party. He loses his nerve and tosses it in a trash bin. However, Asuka finds it.
  • The second Wacky Marriage Proposal in Disorienuptials involves the hopeful groom slipping the ring onto the bride's finger... while she's asleep. She wakes up a short time later and is completely confused for a few minutes, but once she understands exactly what's going on, she directs him to "get down on one knee this instant!"
  • Evangelion 303: In chapter 13, after Asuka runs away, Shinji finds her and in order to convince her to not break up and stay with him, he pulls out an engagement ring and pops the question. When he believes that she has rejected him, he is going to take it back, but she angrily replies that "You'll get it back when you pull it off my cold, lifeless finger".
  • The Captain Proton Parody Fic Plan 7 of 9 from Outer Space opens with a beautiful blonde watching with bated breath as her boyfriend takes out a ring of pure Moon gold with a diamond from the fiery volcanoes of Jupiter....and placing it on his own finger while announcing that he's dumping her for his Sex Bot.
  • Agatha and Tyrion exchange rings at their wedding in A Spark of Ice and Fire. This is important in several ways as they choose to do this over the traditional way with the man draping his cloak over his bride, it symbolises Tyrion's growing preference for Agatha's culture over the one he was raised in, and the fact that the rings are Valyrian steel forged just for them by the Citadel are a symbol of just how valuable Agatha is to the Maesters.

    Films — Animation 
  • Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. A young Bruce Wayne is torn between his intent to become a vigilante and his love for Andrea Beaumont. He decides to propose, but the moment is ruined when they're both startled by a flock of bats erupting from a cave beneath Wayne Manor. That night Andrea has to go on the run when her father embezzles money from The Mafia, and she returns the ring to him.
  • In The Book of Life, Joaquin produces one heck of a big shiny diamond ring to propose to Maria. It does not turn out to be important to the plot.
  • In Corpse Bride, this trope kickstarts the entire plot. Victor has the ring he's going to give to Victoria at their wedding, but he has a nervous breakdown at the rehearsal and runs into the woods to practice his wedding vows. Unfortunately, the "branch" on which he hung the ring while reciting his vows turned out to be a dead girl's finger and, well, see the film's title.
  • In Disney's The Princess and the Frog Naveen decides to propose to Tiana. The obstacles he faces are that he is broke since being cut off by his parents, and he is currently cursed into the form of a frog. But it's Mardi Gras, and he is able to fashion a ring out of a pearly bead and a bit of wire. This attempt at a proposal fails, but it's a Disney movie - they get their happy ending.
  • The Rescuers Down Under: During their dinner atop the hotel chandelier in their first scene, Bernard is about to propose to Miss Bianca when he finds the ring has fallen out of a hole in his pocket and rolled away. While he's chasing it, Bianca is informed of their job in Australia, and when Bernard makes it back to address said proposal, it becomes One Dialogue, Two Conversations on the way to the Rescue Aid Society meeting room until he finds out himself they're off to the land down under.
  • In Robin Hood (1973), Robin gives Marian a flower twisted into the shape of a ring.
  • In the Disney short Tangled Ever After: Maximus sneezes and sends the wedding rings flying a few minutes before they are needed.
  • Up: Carl's wedding ring is animated properly on his hand the entire movie.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Apollo 13, Jim Lovell's wife Marilyn loses her wedding ring down the shower drain on the morning of his launch and understandably panics. This is actually Truth in Television, Marilyn Lovell really did lose her ring that morning but was able to fish it out of the drain.
  • The Apple Dumpling Gang: Donovan and Dusty embark on a Marriage of Convenience for the sole purpose of adopting three orphaned siblings to give them a stable home. Their impromptu wedding is officiated by the local Justice of the Peace in his barbershop because he doubles as the small town's barber (and triples as it's Judge). Telling them their union will be more official with a ring, which they hadn't even thought about, he pulls a metallic band off the neck of a bottle of hair tonic for Donovan to place on Dusty's finger. After they balk when he says, "You may now kiss the bride," he tells them they can shake on it instead.
  • Armageddon (1998):
    • Rockhound puts the mack on a beautiful blonde by informing her the big diamond wedding ring she's wearing isn't the real thing.
    • AJ puts a dinky little ring on Grace after she accepts his proposal. You'd think that a skilled oil rig worker could afford a better ring, but considering his relationship with Harry, he may have George Jetson Job Security. There's also the fact that he'd started his own company and probably put most of his savings into that since he didn't expect to see Grace again after being fired.
  • In Beetlejuice Beetlejuice gives Lydia a wedding ring that has someone else's finger already in it. "I'm tellin' ya, honey, she meant nothin' to me! Nothin' at all!"
  • In Blooded, Lucas hides his mother's engagement ring in a bird's nest for Liv to find in what he hopes will be a romantic proposal. Things do not go as he had hoped.
  • Bride of Chucky: With some effort (even having to use his teeth), Chucky lifts the ring he uses to propose to Tiffany from a severed finger, after she breaks a ceiling mirror with a bottle of wine and killing a couple with the falling shards.
  • In the original Dawn of the Dead (1978), Stephen proposes to Francine in the classic over dinner way. She simply hands back the ring, saying, "It wouldn't be real."
  • In Dead Again, Mike Church tries to ascertain whether Grace is spoken for by asking her how she wears her Claddagh. She puts it on in the "married" position, much to his dismay.
  • Invoked twice in Everyone Says I Love You- Holden first proposes to Schuyler by getting the waiter to put the engagement ring in her favourite dessert during a romantic dinner at a restaurant. She tucks into dessert so enthusiastically, she swallows the ring before Holden can propose. Later in the film when they get back together at Halloween, he puts the ring in a box of crackerjacks and she swallows it again.
  • The 2005 Fantastic Four movie ends with Reed proposing to Sue with a washer from their space station, because he's too poor to afford anything else, and it's a symbol of him trying not to be so absorbed in his big brain science. In the sequel, Reed has made good financially, and Sue is wearing one heck of a giant, shiny rock.
  • Four Weddings and a Funeral: Not only is Charles late to the wedding where he is the best man, but he's also forgotten the rings. His friends quickly supply him with replacements: a ring with a huge, brightly coloured heart for the bride and a silver skull ring for the groom.
  • Independence Day: Steve has been carrying around an engagement ring with leaping dolphins for his girlfriend Jasmine. His pal Jimmy hits on the reason Steve hasn't asked yet: the Air Force will not look kindly on his career ambitions because Jasmine is a stripper. Jimmy gets on one knee to encourage his friend to kiss the butt of the brass so they'll overlook it. Cue the rest of the Black Knights walking in on them.
  • The Little Mermaid (2023): Prince Eric is about to present a wedding ring to Vanessa. Scuttle attacks and makes him drop it. Grimsby, the Shipper on Deck for Eric and Ariel, kicks the ring across the courtyard to delay it being found. By the end of the film, the ring has ended up on Ariel's finger as his bride.
  • The Lover. The Chinaman gives the underage French girl he's having an affair with his mother's ring, a family heirloom that's meant to be given to his own wife. Naturally the Girl's mother and older brother demand to know what she's giving him in exchange; she fervently denies there's anything scandalous going on, tearing off the ring and throwing it at them to show It Doesn't Mean Anything.
  • Hannah gives back Colin's engagement ring when Tom nearly concusses himself to be honest with her and tell her he loves her in Made of Honor.
  • In Muppets Most Wanted an impostor pretending to be Kermit proposes to Piggy with a huge black diamond ring. It turns out to be a bomb with a countdown display when the fake is found out and then the Muppets have trouble getting the ring off Piggy's plump fingers.
  • In O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Ulysses' goal is to reconcile with his estranged wife, who tells him he needs to find her old engagement ring if he wants her back. After passing through near-literal hell and entirely literal high water to find it, he is told that it's the wrong one.
  • In Our Miss Brooks, Connie meets Phillip Boynton at the zoo, where she finds an engagement ring in his box of Cracker Jacks. It's promptly stolen by a female chimpanzee named Chiquita. No matter; Connie and Phillip leave the zoo walking arm in arm to their future home.
  • In The Prestige, Alfred Borden's adulterous affair with Olivia is mostly summed up in a single shot of the two sitting in bed while he twirls his wedding ring around his fingers.
  • In the film version of RENT, Maureen proposes to Joanne using one of many rings she wears on her fingers.
  • In The Scarecrow, Buster Keaton uses a lug nut as a wedding ring while getting married on a speeding motorcycle.
  • Shoot 'Em Up. The unnamed hero leaves a pistol with the Hooker with a Heart of Gold, slipping the trigger guard over her finger with obvious symbolism.
  • In Spider-Man 3, Peter gets an heirloom ring from Aunt May so he can propose to Mary Jane. Then the ring gets knocked out of his hands in an attack, multiple stories above the city, and he has to chase it before it hits the ground and is lost forever. Later, he arranges for the ring to turn up at the bottom of a champagne glass, but he's been Mr. Oblivious, and MJ gives up on him before he can propose.
  • Ticket to Paradise: Georgia and David steal the wedding rings in an attempt to sabotage the wedding. The couple simply gets new rings.
  • In True Lies Helen Tasker moved her wedding set from her left hand to her right. She did it at first because she was pretending to be a prostitute. She left it there after finding out the hard way her husband is a spy who's been lying to her their entire marriage. Once he rescues her, though, he remarks that her ring is on the wrong finger. He replaces it on her finger as they make up.
  • Venom: Let There Be Carnage begins with Cletus slipping Frances an improvised ring made of fabric and her putting it on. She still wears it when the movie transits into current day, although it had mostly frayed away by then.

  • In the second Dexter novel, Dearly Devoted Dexter, Rita finds Chutsky's diamond ring in Dexter's pocket when it accidentally falls out and mistakes it for an engagement ring. He decides, for various reasons, that it wouldn't be a bad idea, and does end up marrying Rita.
  • Dragonlance Chronicles: When Goldmoon and Riverwind finally marry, they stick to the custom of their homeland where each partner makes the ring for the other. Riverwind carves Goldmoon's from a willow branch he had carried with him from their homeland, while Goldmoon makes Riverwind's from a plaited tress of her blonde hair bound in silver wire.
  • In the Elenium trilogy, Sparhawk and Queen Ehlana wear identical rings which are heirlooms of their respective families, symbolic of the generational link between sovereign and Champion. They're also magical, so while the Queen is incapacitated, Sparhawk has hers, and once she's restored to her throne he goes to return it by putting it on her hand. However, he can't tell the rings apart, and gives her his own ring by mistake. She can tell them apart, and delightedly assumes that he's proposing marriage — and accepts eagerly. He rolls with it, because he really does love her and can't bear to hurt her, but it's definitely not what he had in mind.
  • The Goblin Emperor: Maia has difficulties getting the (plain iron) wedding ring on his bride's finger. Fortunately the exchange of rings is just a business meeting and not many people are present (the wedding celebration is to take place later) and the bride discreetly helps him.
  • Spellbent: Switchblade Goddess: Jessie is missing her left arm, and it has been replaced with mystical energy. So when her boyfriend proposes, he puts the ring on her right hand.

     Live-Action TV  
  • In the The 10th Kingdom, conflict arises when Wolf spends all his money on a magic engagement ring with a sentient, singing pearl on top. Virginia is upset that he didn't use the money to buy the mirror they've been chasing the entire series.
  • An episode of According to Jim has Jim and Cheryl getting into an argument over her wedding ring. The issue was that the ring belonged to one of Jim's old girlfriends. At the end Jim explains that he wanted to propose to the other woman, but she turned him down and he put the ring away and forgot about it for a few years. When he wanted to propose to Cheryl, he remembered the ring and gave it to her as a way to avoid going to a jewelry store and save some money, though he agrees to buy her another ring.
  • Angel gives Buffy a Claddagh ring for her 17th birthday, explaining the different meanings in how you wear it, with obvious romantic overtones. The scene actually caused a boost in popularity for Claddagh rings in real life.
    • The dual purpose of a claddagh ring is used brutally the following season when a boy who fancies Buffy gives her one as a sign of friendship; Buffy naturally freaks out over this sudden reminder of her doomed romance with Angel.
    • During "Something Blue", Spike gives Buffy his gothic punk ring after Willow's "My Will Be Done Spell" makes them get engaged, since it's the only one he has on hand. Interestingly, she never gives it back when the spell is broken.
  • Babylon 5: When John Sheridan proposes to Delenn (by showing her the ring he 'picked up down in the Zocalo', possibly from the crane-grab machine) we get a Cross-Cultural Kerfluffle with a sci-fi twist - being from an alien culture she has no idea what an engagement ring is and stands there looking bemused and stroking the ring box while he explains. Very smooth.
    • He also describes the ring as a "down payment," which it technically sort of is.
  • Battlestar Galactica. Bill Adama still wears his wedding ring, even though he's long divorced and his ex-wife was killed in the destruction of the Colonies. But when Laura Roslin dies, he finally takes off the ring and places it on her finger.
  • In Being Human (US), Sally is killed when she freaks out about having lost her engagement ring down the drain. Her fiancé thinks that she deliberately 'lost' it down the drain.
  • In a classic scene from The Bob Newhart Show (season 4), Howard proposes to Ellen in a restaurant with friends and family present. The seating arrangement at the semi-circular table is so awkward that Howard must pass the ring to Carol's dull as dishwater blind date from hell. It is he who then slips the ring on Ellen's finger. Ellen accepts and says the ring is lovely, to which Carol's date responds with an emphatic "Thank you!"
  • Bones:
    • Booth and Sweets both go look at rings. Sweets was thinking of proposing to Daisy, but backed out because he was thinking more of the money than her and it told him he wasn’t ready. Booth bought an expensive ring and proposed to Hannah and she rejected him, leading him to hurl the ring into the reflecting pool at the Washington Monument, where it was set.
    • Hodgins carried his wedding ring for Angela in his wallet after their initial breakup because he hoped she’d come back.
  • Cheers: In "Diamond Sam", Sam forms A Simple Plan to buy Diane a knockoff ring. He ends up spending thousands of dollars covering for the plan, then ends up buying the real ring anyway, only to have Diane discard it, thinking it's the fake.
  • Chuck:
  • Daredevil (2015). In the Season One finale, the criminal activities of Wilson Fisk have been exposed, and he hands a diamond ring to Vanessa Marianna just as the FBI are physically hauling them apart. His men spring Fisk from the armored prison car and convey him to where Vanessa is waiting with a helicopter to take him out of the country, but he calls to tell her to leave without him if he doesn't make it, saying their separation will only be a temporary inconvenience. On hearing that Fisk has been rearrested, Vanessa makes a point of placing the ring on her finger before leaving on the helicopter.
  • ER has one of the women losing her engagement ring in the drain. Romano later retrieves it with an endoscope.
  • Friends: Any time a wedding ring enters the story, something happens to it.
    • When Ross proposes to Emily, he doesn't have a ring. He tries to use his hoop earring, but it's too small for her finger.
    • When Ross gives the ring meant for Emily to Joey during his bachelor party, it goes missing. They hunt down the stripper, thinking she stole it. Turns out the duck had eaten it.
    • When Phoebe and Chandler locate the ring Chandler wants to give Monica, Chandler has to go back home to get his credit card off Joey. Phoebe is left behind to guard the ring, but unfortunately fails to stop it being sold to another man and Chandler ends up with a pretty ring but one he feels is completely wrong for Monica. Together they hunt down the man and convince him to swap rings so that Chandler ends up with the ring he originally wanted.
    • Just after the wedding ceremony, Chandler and Monica have a moment alone while the photographer is setting up, and as they pull away from their kiss, Chandler's ring goes flying off his finger. Turns out the ring doesn't fit properly.
    • When Emma is born, Janice freaks out Rachel into believing she'll have to raise Emma alone. Ross was carrying his grandmother's ring which falls out of his jacket when he leaves the room. Joey notices and drops to one knee to pick up the ring. When Rachel speaks, he spins round, and when she sees him on one knee, ring in hand, she assumes he's proposing and immediately accepts. It takes the entire episode to clean up the confusion.
  • In the French and Saunders parody of "November Rain" (see below), Dawn-as-Slash pretends to have lost the ring, then extends her middle finger, rather than pinky. Also, the ring has a skull on it.
  • On The Golden Girls, when Stan proposes re-marriage to Dorothy, he hides the ring in a baked potato. It Makes Sense in Context, since he's recently made a fortune by inventing and selling a gadget to let people open baked potatoes without burning themselves, but it's still weird when she shows the ring to her friends and they observe the bits of potato still clinging to it.
  • Subverted in How I Met Your Mother: Ted and Robin are having dinner at a nice restaurant, and they order champagne. Robin sees the ring at the bottom of the glass and freaks out... while Ted protests that he didn't put the ring there. A man at a nearby table apologizes and explains the ring should have gone in the champagne meant for him and his soon-to-be-fiancée. Ted and Robin realize that her reaction indicates that they probably aren't meant to be together in the long run.
  • On Just Shoot Me!, Elliot plans to propose to Maya during dinner, but the ring gets stuck on Dennis' toe. (He was in the tub pretending that his feet were getting married.)
  • In M*A*S*H, Margaret loses her ring and when Klinger is unable to recover it, he gets a replica made. She finds out because the inscription is wrong.
  • Midsomer Murders: In "Schooled In Murder", Barnaby buys a ring for his wife for their 15th anniversary. However, while distracted by Jones, he accidentally feeds the ring to his dog Sykes. He then has to fabricate reasons to keep the dog with him till he can, um, retrieve it.
  • "Monk ": Subverted. Stottlemeyer chooses Adrian as his best man. Knowing his responsibility is to make sure the ring is not lost, Monk closes his fist around the ring and refuses to open it for several days until the wedding.
    • Played with. After his divorce but before meeting his second wife, Monk revealed Leland's girlfriend was a murderer. He had been carrying an engagement ring around with a view to propose. But when she is arrested, a heartbroken Leland throws the engagement ring into the Pacific.
  • Mr. Bean. Bean's girlfriend is overjoyed when Bean presents her with a box with a ring inside, but is puzzled when it turns out to be a wall hook. For the picture of himself that's the actual gift.
  • When Max is finally going to propose to Fran on The Nanny, he gets mugged outside the theater and the ring is stolen. They seal the engagement with the pull-tab from a beer can until he can get a replacement. The huge and expensive replacement comes from Cartier. Max didn't want to buy anything cheaper than that.
  • Night Court, "Dan's Escort": A wealthy older widow on a date with Dan Fielding relates how her then-impoverished husband proposed to her with a ring made of gum wrappers. Fifty years later, the husband's anniversary present to her was... a ring made of gum wrappers, that he delayed a board meeting to finish.
  • In Peep Show, Mark was going to propose to Sophie on a romantic weekend. On getting lost at night in the countryside and being afraid he will die of cold, Mark realises that he doesn't have to marry Sophie, he is free, he can do anything he wants. Slight damper when Sophie finds the ring in his luggage and accepts the non-proposal (I'm not getting any younger). Will Mark manage to get out of the engagement before the wedding? See the next series. No.
  • Person of Interest. Showing a rather twisted sense of humor, John Reese offers Zoe Morgan a ring when he's actually proposing they go Undercover as Lovers. We don't see how she responds, except that her eyes go wide and then we cut to them both on assignment.
  • Psych has an episode in which Shawn freaks out over the theft of his Nintendo, in which he had hidden his grandmother's ring.
    • Then, when he finally proposes for real, someone steals the ring as Juliet is accepting!
  • In Rita, Helle finds an engagement ring in one of Rasmus's drawers. She spends an episode or... one... overthinking and undercommunicating about it, then spends around ten minutes accepting Rasmus's proposal. around halfway through Rasmus realises that she's talking about the ring he bought for his ex and never got around to disposing of, but he can't interrupt until she's finished. When he tells her that he wasn't going to propose to her, much drama ensues.
  • Roswell: In the series finale, Max steals a trick from Superman and turns coal into diamond so he has a ring to propose to Liz with.
  • Similarly to the Fantastic Four movie ring example above, when Captain Sisko proposes to Yates on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, he uses what appears to be a table-stand-washer from the model house he's building. Though to be honest, he seems to have planned it and it could have been an actual engagement ring that had just been hidden there for convenience.
  • In The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, a hawk steals a ring with which a man was going to use to propose to his girlfriend. Unfortunately, the man complains because he earned it from a salary. The girlfriend is not pleased and breaks it off.
  • In the Supernatural episode "What Is And What Should Never Be" (S02, Ep20), Wishverse!Mary continues to wear her wedding band despite being a widow, and Wishverse!Jessica shows off her diamond ring to announce she is engaged to Wishverse!Sam at his mother's birthday dinner.
  • The Korean Drama To Marry A Millionaire is about a scam reality show where a bunch of women are supposed to be conned into thinking they are getting a chance to marry a millionaire (a la Joe Millionaire). The guy is actually a delivery guy for a noodle shop. One of the women is someone he knew in high school he is carrying a torch for. She knows who he really is, but she needs the money they offered to do the show, so she stays with it. He is supposed to offer her a fancy diamond ring, but instead he buys the most expensive thing he can personally afford (a very cheap ring) and offers her the ring he bought instead. Much drama ensues, he gets the ring back, makes a ton of money and proposes to her again with the cheap ring at their old high school.
  • Two and a Half Men: Charlie, planning to propose to Chelsea, puts the engagement ring in her champagne glass. She downs the whole thing in one gulp.
  • When Alice and Hugo get married on The Vicar of Dibley, Jim forgets the rings. They substitute what looks to be a pair of circular corn chips. In point of fact, they're Hula Hoops. Which, actually, match perfectly with Alice's personality.
  • In The Walking Dead (2010), Glenn pops the question to Maggie by finding a zombie wearing a ring, cutting her finger off, and making a romantic proposal.
  • Wings: Helen's wedding ring falls in the toilet and Joe reaches in to retrieve it, and ends up getting his hand stuck. They're unable to extract either his hand or the ring, so they end up holding the ceremony in the bathroom, using a washer from inside the toilet tank as a ring.
  • In You're the Worst, Gretchen finds an engagement ring in one of Jim's drawers. She spends an episode or three overthinking and undercommunicating about it, then spends around ten minutes accepting Jim's proposal. around halfway through Jim realises that she's talking about the ring he bought for his ex and never got around to disposing of, but he can't interrupt until she's finished. When he tells her that he wasn't going to propose to her, much drama ensues.

  • "With This Ring" by T. Graham Brown is about a man proposing to his wife: "With this ring I promise I'll always love you".
  • Referenced in "Don't Love Make a Diamond Shine" by Tracy Byrd, where the song's message is more about the meaning behind the ring than its value:
    There's a rich lady with a new Mercedes
    Livin' up in a high rise
    She got a big ol' rock on her left hand
    That looks cheaper than a Cracker Jack prize
    'Cause her man don't know that it ain't the dough
    You know all he needs to spend is time
    And that big marquis'd be a laser beam
    Don't love make a diamond shine...
  • The music video for Guns N' Roses "November Rain" has Axl and his groomsmen looking about frantically for the ring. Steve is wearing it on his pinky.
  • "This Diamond Ring" by Gary Lewis and the Playboys is about a young man who wants to sell the engagement ring his girl took off and gave back when he caught her cheating.
  • In the Trisha Yearwood song "She's in Love with the Boy", Tommy uses his high school ring as a stand-in, because as a young farm boy, he doesn't have the money for anything better.

  • In The Twelve Months, April gives the main heroine an engagement ring that doubles as a Ring of Power. Soon afterwards, it gets stolen by her Wicked Stepmother and stepsister, and then it's taken from them by the Queen who refuses to return it to the heroine unless she reveals who gave it to her. However, the acquaintance with the Months has to be kept a secret, so the Queen throws the ring into a lake. Thankfully, that very act activates the ring's magic and allows the heroine to call the Months for help, and April simply magicks the ring back.

     Video Games  

  • In Captain SNES: The Game Masta, Sabin loses the rings for Locke and Celes's wedding. Well, actually, Locke, a very literal Kleptomaniac Hero (that's TREASURE HUNTING hero!), was so nervous that he pocketed them on sheer impulse and promptly forgot that he had done so.
  • Dominic Deegan sacrificed his highly crafted artificial leg to get a rare and precious gemstone with which to propose to Luna, which she herself noted was a type typically put into rings. She wears it around her neck rather than on a ring.
  • In chapter 13 of Evangelion 303, after Asuka runs away, Shinji finds her and in order to convince her to not break up and stay with him, he pulls out an engagement ring and pops the question. When he believes that she has rejected him, he is going to take it back, but she angrily replies that "You'll get it back when you pull it off my cold, lifeless finger".
  • Gil in Girl Genius finds a ring-shaped gas connector in Agatha's hair. He turns that into a Wacky Marriage Proposal. Later Gil wears the ring on a chain around his neck when he believed that Agatha was killed.
    • Later Lars (who's secretly fallen in love with Agatha) puts a wedding ring on her finger when she has a dinner date with the local prince in case he has lecherous intentions. Agatha misses the symbolism, remarking innocently that "people keep giving me rings" and noting that a Death Ray would be a more practical gift.
      • The ring (as Lars actually says to Abner when he questions Lars's line that it's 'kept him out of trouble') does end up being important, as it folds out into a lockpick, which comes in handy when the Prince's intentions are even less-honorable than anyone in the Circus suspected.
  • Charlie in Theater Hopper flushes her engagement ring down the toilet in the ladies' room on disbelieving Charlie's protest of Not What It Looks Like.

     Western Animation 
  • On Arthur, the eponymous character is the ringbearer in his aunt's wedding. He's nervous, and trips on the way down the aisle, which sent the ring flying into the church organ. D.W. is the only one small enough to climb inside and retrieve the ring.
  • In Futurama, Bender steals the engagement ring Lars gave Leela and replaces it with an exact duplicate.
    Bender: In fact, I think the fake cost more than this ring. Don't get me wrong, this is very nice, but I really went all out. It's sort of my gift to them.
  • On Gargoyles, Goliath and Demona watch the prince get married, and Goliath comments on the strange human custom of exchanging rings. Demona then decides to imitate the practice by breaking the Phoenix Gate in half, giving him one piece and offering to always keep her own.
  • Phineas and Ferb
    • "Hide and Seek:" Phineas retrieves a diamond ring from a sewer grate while under the influence of a shrink ray.
    • There's another episode in which the boys develop X-Ray vision glasses, and use them to find Mrs. Garcia-Shapiro's missing wedding ring, which went down the drain.
  • The Simpsons
    • In a flashback episode Marge's original engagement ring is repossessed, and Homer is so ashamed at being unable to provide for her that he leaves her, but continues to mail her money with no return address. When she finally manages to track him down to the crummy fast food place he's working at he re-proposes with an onion ring. Marge is touched, but then asks if she can take it off, since it's burning her finger. Homer takes it off, but then he eats it.
    • There was a similar event when Mr. Burns proposed to Marge's mother. He put the ring in her champagne glass, but she swallowed it. Luckily, he had a back-up ring in the fondue.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Back to the Sewer: Casey proposes to April and puts the ring on the wrong finger. But after the Artifact of Doom ring is removed and replaced, he puts a normal ring on the correct finger.
  • We Bare Bears: In "Best Bears", Panda goes to pick up the rings for Darrel and Sofia's wedding, and ends up chasing them down the street after dropping them. Fortunately, he catches them just as he gets to the church where the wedding is being held.

     Real Life  
  • A man did a variation on the engagement ring in the champagne glass; he bought her a Wendy's Frosty and challenged her to a contest. And she ended up swallowing the ring.