Nauseous female characters on TV

I started noticing recently that the only time female TV characters ever get nauseous (or nauseated, for those of you who make that distinction) is when they're pregnant.

I think I've seen it half a dozen times in the past few months, and I don't watch all that much TV. Female character starts to feel sick, and a few scenes or episodes later, she discovers (usually much to the surprise of everyone except the audience) that she's pregnant.

It annoys me a little, because in real life there are lots of reasons for people (regardless of gender) to get nauseous. Illness, for example, or motion sickness, or being grossed out.

But what I'm not sure about is whether male TV characters ever get nauseous. (Except occasionally when they encounter a dead body or when they're drunk; I know I've seen those situations.) If the primary cause of nausea among TV characters is pregnancy, then maybe it's not a big deal; maybe it's just a trope, and maybe there aren't many occasions to show characters being queasy for other reasons.

Then, too, it may be that my sample space is skewed and that there are plenty of non-pregnant nauseous female characters; maybe this is just confirmation bias.

Still, I thought it was interesting. Discussion and/or anecdotal data welcome.

(I'm reminded of some discussions on the Darths & Droids forum in recent months, where some of the fans seized on a female character feeling ill as evidence that she's pregnant; some other fans (including me) tried to suggest that there were all sorts of other possibilities that would be more interesting. But I won't be surprised (just disappointed) if it turns out she is.)

One Response to “Nauseous female characters on TV”

  1. Jed

    See also a great discussion by Kate Nepveu about avoiding cliches in portrayals of pregnancy and childbirth.


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