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Playing With / Wet Blanket Wife

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Basic Trope: A male character is involved in the main conflict or plot of the story, and his Love Interest nags or pleads with him to stop.

  • Straight:
    • Military Mike comes home from his latest mission covered in injuries, and his wife Sally chews him out for living such a dangerous life.
    • Hustler Harry is planning a heist with the members of his band of noble thieves, and his wife Brenda pleads with him not to go through with it.
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    • Player Paul is about to sneak out with his friends to play basketball, his most beloved sport, but his wife Janice nags him about being stuck home with the children.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Janice locks Paul in their bedroom to stop him from going out and having fun.
    • "Hustler" Harry is a public accountant and the most straight-laced man on the planet when it comes to money. He grabs a penny someone dropped to the ground. Brenda nags him about it like he had pulled a Ponzi scheme that would make Bernie Madoff blush.
  • Downplayed: The wife doesn't say anything, but she's clearly upset that her husband is involved with the activity of the plot.
  • Justified:
    • Military Mike is fighting in a war he doesn't even believe in, with an absurdly high casualty rate. His wife Sally is terrified that she'll become a widow for a cause neither of them even wants.
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    • Brenda is afraid Hustler Harry's activities will get him killed or arrested. Barring that, their activities are truly morally wrong, and his accomplices might betray him.
    • Janice is absolutely right that Player Paul is becoming a neglectful father, and that his basketball friends are only making him more irresponsible.
  • Inverted:
    • The person involved with the plot nags their spouse to do the same.
    • The person involved with the plot wants to stop, but their spouse nags them to keep doing it.
  • Gender-Inverted: The man is the cautious, nagging one and the wife does the main action.
  • Subverted: The wife pulls the man aside to talk about his involvement in the plot's activities, and then kisses him on the cheek and wishes him good luck.
  • Double Subverted: ...But she makes him promise this is the last time.
  • Parodied: George is about to go to a supermarket to buy groceries, and his wife Brenda pleads with him not to go through with it in the most melodramatic way possible.
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  • Zig Zagged: The wife goes back and forth between encouraging and lecturing her husband.
  • Averted:
    • The wife never expresses any displeasure with her husband's activities, or they're even an Outlaw Couple or Battle Couple.
    • The plot revolves about Harry's decision to do One Last Job and retire, but it is showcased it was a decision he did all by himself. If anything, Brenda may show surprise when Harry gives her the news.
  • Enforced: The producers want someone to remind the audience how "bad" what the protagonists are doing is. They pick a woman because Women Are Wiser.
  • Lampshaded: A man bemoans that his wife is so unfun to be around, because she never lets him have any fun or do anything he needs to.
  • Invoked: A bride-to-be has her two best friends tell that a "real man" would always put her before his other interests or goals, thus bringing this trope to be.
  • Exploited:
    • When captured, an enemy soldier tries to break Mike by saying that his wife at home became fed up with waiting for him to return and began having an affair.
    • The Hero Antagonist Inspector Javert manipulates Harry's wife into helping foil his heist because it would be the only way to get him to stop.
    • Paul's Mother-in-law, who hates his guts, convinces his wife that when he sneaks away he's seeing another woman, rather than playing basketball, in order to break them up.
  • Defied:
    • Mike promises to Sally that after this mission, he'll retire from the military. She tells him that she doesn't want him to do any such thing, because his actions make the world safe.
    • Harry is planning his next caper behind his wife's back. One day, he discovers that she'd been deliberately misdirecting the cops and others away from him, and that he would've been caught a long time ago if not for her. She didn't ask him about it because it was best that she knew as little as possible, if questioned.
    • A friend asks Paul how he convinces Janice to let him play ball so much. He tells him that Janice encourages him to play, because her father is a coach and she grew up loving the sport.
  • Discussed: Bob and Alice are about to get married, and Alice says that she's not going to be one of those wives who nags her husband to quit doing something he loves or helps people.
  • Conversed: Two characters discuss how all the female romantic interests in media always try to get their husbands to quit doing stuff, and wonder why there aren't more male characters like that.
  • Implied: We never meet the wife, but the look on the husband's face when she calls him during the main plot activity says it all.
  • Deconstructed: Part of the plot is about how two people can grow apart and ruin their lives/marriage because the husband simply does things regardless of his wife's wishes, or the wife fails to involve herself or consider her husband's position.
  • Reconstructed: The story is a reexamination of how differences in a marriage can be healthy, such as a wife successfully letting her husband know he's getting out of hand, or a husband who slowly gains the support of a reluctant wife.

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