25 TV tropes you’ll definitely recognize but are super tired of seeing

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The beautiful wife and schlubby husband

This particular trope has become so widespread in the popular culture that we barely even notice it. It plays into the whole idea that non-traditionally beautiful women are not as well liked or received by the viewing public while men only need to be funny to win us over. It’s a particular brand of sexism that makes allowances for male actors while keeping female actors are bound by their looks.

In this particular situation, the husband is usually funny and likeable and usually hapless. The beautiful woman is meant to love him despite how he looks or how much he weighs. There is so much more to these male characters than the way they look, and we’re meant to accept them on the merits of their personality, dismissing the fact that they don’t meet traditional physical standards.

The reverse of this trope rarely exists on TV. You won’t see an typically unattractive woman with a dashing or handsome man, because let’s face it, we probably wouldn’t buy it. There isn’t enough suspension of disbelief for our culture to swallow an ugly woman married to a very good looking man.

It’s unfair, of course, but further example of the heteronormative idea that women are more concerned with “what’s on the inside” than men are. Men are painted as the more looks-obsessed of the genders, while women are represented as more accepting and nurturing. Although this isn’t to say that these kind of match-ups are impossible, but when they’re using them to highlight gender stereotypes, it gets a little yucky.

Examples: King of Queens, The Honeymooners, The Simpsons, and According to Jim