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Playing With / The Baby Trap

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Basic Trope: A woman gets pregnant on purpose, in an attempt to keep her boyfriend or husband with her.

  • Straight: Alice tells Bob that she's on the Pill (she isn't), and that they don't need to use a condom. She gets pregnant and tells him that the Pill apparently didn't work, when in reality she was never on it in the first place.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Alice has done this to two other guys before Bob; obviously, it didn't work.
    • Advertisement:
    • Alice performs oral sex on Bob, and inseminates herself with the collected semen behind Bob's back.
    • "Proposing" marriage this way is considered the norm.
  • Downplayed:
  • Justified:
  • Inverted:
    • Bob pokes a tiny hole in Alice's diaphragm (or in his condom) so she'll get pregnant and have to stay with him.
    • Alice tells Bob she's not using any sort of birth control even though she secretly is, because Bob wants a baby and Alice doesn't.
    • Alice gets pregnant in an attempt to get Bob to break up with her.
  • Subverted:
    • Alice tells Bob she's pregnant, but she's lying.
    • Alice is pregnant, but the child is most likely not Bob's; she tells him it is.
    • Alice tries sabotaging her birth control, but it doesn't work.
    • Alice gets pregnant, tells Bob (who agrees to marry her), and miscarries shortly before the wedding.
    • Alice really does get pregnant, even though she was properly taking her birth control.
    • It turns out that it's just a Pregnancy Scare; A pregnancy test from her OB/GYN comes back negative, and Alice gets her period the very same day.
    • Alice has an abortion.
  • Double Subverted:
    • But then an official test from a doctor confirms that she really is pregnant.
    • A DNA test confirms that the child actually is Bob's.
    • Bob stays with her anyway.
    • When they get to the clinic, Bob persuades her not to abort, because he's willing to help her take care of the baby.
  • Parodied:
    • Bob tells Alice he's pregnant to make her stay with him.
    • Bob's male partner tells him that he's pregnant. Bob believes said partner.
  • Zig Zagged: Alice thinks that Bob is not the baby's father. A DNA test says that he is, but it turns out that the test was botched and the baby's real father is Charles.
  • Averted: Alice does not get pregnant, and does not lie about or sabotage her birth control.
  • Enforced: Rule of Drama. May result in a Very Special Episode.
  • Lampshaded: "I thought you said you were on the Pill!" "I lied! Now you have to stay with me because I'm pregnant."
  • Invoked: Alice stops taking her birth control pills, and has unprotected sex with Bob.
  • Exploited:
    • As well as her parents and Bob, Alice scores pity with her friends.
    • Alice doesn't really want Bob, only his money.
  • Defied:
    • Alice believes this is unethical, and resolves to try and find other ways of fixing her relationship with Bob. Like talking about their problems in a civilized and non-accusatory manner.
    • Alice becomes pregnant (most likely accidentally), but doesn't care whether Bob stays with her. She may even abort.
    • A Law to legally treat this deception as domestic abuse, punish the perpetrating party and remove their right for child custody is passed, as to discourage said practice.
    • Biotech marches on enough that both partners need to actively choose if they want to possibly impregnate/become pregnant. This trope is now a bizarre anachronism that people find hard to comprehend let alone relate to.
  • Discussed: "What? No! I didn't get pregnant to make you stay with me. In fact, I don't care if you break up with me. I'll just raise the baby alone, or maybe abandon it in the woods."
  • Conversed: "Why does Alice think a baby will make Bob stay with her? Realistically, it should have the opposite effect."
  • Implied: Alice and Bob have a Shotgun Wedding, and Alice looks pregnant.
  • Deconstructed: This is not guaranteed to work, nor will it solve their relationship problems. (It might just create some interesting new ones, however.) It is also considered a form of Domestic Abuse.
  • Reconstructed:
  • Played For Laughs: Alice has been taking baby aspirin instead of birth-control pills. Not because anyone's been tampering with them, but because she's Too Dumb to Live.
  • Played For Drama: Bob doesn't want to stay with Alice, and commits suicide (or flees the country) to avoid paying child support. Meanwhile, Alice's parents kick her out onto the street.

Please don't leave me to go back to The Baby Trap; I'm pregnant with your child!

Example of: