Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe/Playing With

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Basic Trope: A man can't be sure of his paternity the way a mother can of her maternity, and his belief is only as good as her word.

  • Straight: Julianna goes to drink at bars in the evening, and comes back late; when she has a baby nine months later, her husband Helmut wonders whether he's the father.
  • Exaggerated: Helmut finds his wife Julianna talking to a male friend on the phone, and instantly demands of her whether any of their nine children are his.
  • Downplayed: Helmut accepts Julianna's child as his own, no matter who the biological father might be.
  • Justified: Prior to, or without, DNA testing, a man has only the woman's word and any chance resemblance to go by.
  • Inverted: Julianna wakes up after a coma, and Helmut tells her that unbeknownst to her, she had been pregnant and this is her daughter -- who looks like neither of them. Julianna wonders whether she is.
  • Subverted: Helmut wonders whether he's the father. Julianna told him that he is indeed that father.
  • Double Subverted: But Helmet got suspicious, given she already said so before he asked her.
  • Parodied: Her Child, but Not His, where white man Helmut asks white woman Julianna whether he's the father of an Asian-looking baby.
  • Zig Zagged: Helmut wonders whether the baby's his, has DNA testing done, which confirms it, learns that the lab is sloppy and doubts it again, gets a better lab to confirm, is told by Julianna that she slept with his identical twin, and learns that his twin had in fact been in jail during the time she claimed to have slept with him.
  • Averted: Julianna and Helmut are shipwrecked and the baby's born ten months later -- it was not possible that any other man was the father.
  • Enforced: ???
  • Lampshaded: ???
  • Invoked: ???
  • Exploited: Julianna becomes pregnant and gets Helmut to marry her.
  • Defied: See Subverted
  • Discussed: "Think he's the dad?"
  • Conversed: "Am I the father?"