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

7 of 26

The dad as another kid

This trope, much like a lot of others on the list, is really kind of sexist and harmful to its subject. In this particular stereotype, made part of the cultural canon by Homer Simpson, the dad is just another kid the mother has to take care of.

He’s completely useless and adds very little value to the lives of his wife and family. She is constantly cleaning up his messes, tending to his immature emotional needs, and bailing him out of situations that he ultimately created for himself.

The wife is usually long-suffering and patient, having to put up with all her husband’s dumb nonsense for so long. In fact, you have to wonder why the wife would even stick around for all this trouble and work. As far as I can tell, they don’t really get much out of the relationship, besides having to be a nag that must provide constant supervision for her own husband, and that doesn’t sound fun at all.

This cliché is damaging because it undermines the role of the father, and forces his wife into the role of mother. The suggestion that a husband can’t be trusted to live his own live with a chaperone or take care of his own children is downright insulting.  Infantilizing fathers and turning mothers into harpies is a very narrow way to portray a character and doesn’t even come close to the nuances of these roles in real life.

Examples: Family Guy, Modern Family, Everybody Loves Raymond, and Malcolm in the Middle