The Trope of Unexpected Pregnancy

How did pregnancy after a one-night stand get to be a romance trope?


Image by Pro File from Pixabay 

A woman meets a stranger in a bar, is attracted to him, has sex with him and is then pregnant. Can someone please explain to me, and my minute brain, how this is romantic? How is accidental pregnancy romantic? Have I missed a page somewhere?

I am not an extremist. I think that I am pretty down the middle on most things. But this whole accidental pregnancy thing just leaves me shaking my head because at the very least it’s like someone’s romantic fantasy gone very, very bad. It’s as if someone has disassociated the fact that pregnancy means a baby who will need care, guidance, tuition, and feeding, for the next 18 years. Let’s just plug in (or what have you 😉 ) a stranger and make it work. Because, oh, yes, once he finds out I’m preggers he will love me. Uh, huh.

And, why, oh, why, would you want that?

Oh, and pregnancy doesn’t mean swollen ankles and stretch marks and that sometimes when you laugh outrageously you will pee because things are not as they once were.

No, of course not. Because we are in la-la-land where pregnancy even by someone we’ve known for three hours is a miraculous sign that Venus and Cupid are with us. We are in the sepia land of true love with someone we don’t even know the last name of. And, oh, well, we’re not really sure what his eye color was, but he smelled really good and we think he had good hygiene. Yep, that’s enough for us to nod our head up and down and smile maniacally.

I semi-apologize if you are one of those folks who are enamored with unexpected pregnancies by people who did not know each other 24 hours before the actual conception. We all have places where we want to be.



10 thoughts on “The Trope of Unexpected Pregnancy

  1. I didn’t know this is a romantic trope. Yikes. I thought such things went out with the 50’s (that’s the 1950’s not age). Maybe I inherently avoid plots like this. However, the 2007 movie “Knocked Up” had this “one night stand pregnancy” plot. There are many things I don’t understand. 🙂

    1. I avoid plots like this too. I didn’t really know it was a “thing” until it came up on my radar this past week under the heading of: here’s one for you all who love accidental pregnancies…

      I probably need to stop ranting about things. lol

  2. I learned a while ago that sometimes, more often when it comes to romance, you just have to accept that it is fiction because if an author were to write too realistically they would cause readers to revolt. Especially if the tone of their book is supposed to be more fun and light (though I’m not sure how an unexpected pregnancy can be fun or light). When we read books, we want the fantasy, to be taken away from the not fun parts of reality (or that is the idea). How many readers are actually going to enjoy a story about a woman that pees herself every time she coughs or sneezes so doesn’t want to leave the house without diaper levels of protection? Unless it is written as a way to make fun and get the reader to laugh, most people really wouldn’t enjoy that level of reality. (Do not even get me started on the realities of a post-baby body on a woman and the oh so NOT sexy things that can happen!)

    That said, this ties into one of my peeves in romance. Especially romance novels that have been written in the last decade or so. That is this absolute refusal of so many authors to even consider the concept of safe sex in their books. There are some that do a great job at it, some that play at it, but they almost always do it so briefly as to be a joke and, at least in straight romance, only about pregnancy prevention, and others that do not address it AT ALL. Just have their characters jump into the physical, no conversation about protection, before or after. Nothing. With this pregnancy trope, lack of protection is a must to even have the book in the first place. Again, this is fiction. It isn’t supposed to actually be real, but… no matter if a book has a rating/warning on it or not (must be 18+ to read), it WILL end up in the hands of some young girl that will have that book creating impressions that stick. Okay, I could really go on about that and all the issues that creates but I won’t, so I’m stepping off my soapbox now.

    1. I like what you said! I think that it’s mainly young girls who think that this could be romantic, that they’d find their fairy tale hero this way without realizing all of the “realities” that come along with it, that they’d find their magical person to love and who would love them. And, yes, regarding the unprotected sex. Most of the romances I read do make a deal of having the scene include condoms. However, and I think I mentioned this in one review (rants come up sometimes haha) that there seemed to be no concern that oral sex with someone you don’t know might also contribute to disease.

      And you’re right. It’s the fantasy and the fairy tale and it’s not supposed to be realistic or all of these insta-loves would have an epilogue that says: and Jack and Jill are no longer together because once they got over the lust, they discovered they really couldn’t stand each other. 🙂

      1. Oh, I love that last part! That is so true! Honestly, I think that is part of why I’ve avoided most traditional romances lately. That and so many of them seem exactly the same as the one before. Either that or I’ve just gotten really grumpy in my old age!

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