Same Story, New Excuse: Why Lesbian and Bi Characters Are Subject To TV Tropes


In the past few years, queer women have had the joy of seeing skyrocketing levels of representation on television.  While the increase in numbers is cause for celebration, the way those characters are actually treated is a different story.  Far too often, showrunners hand us the same stories, delivered in the same way, and offer the same excuses about why they had no choice.  Case in point: within a week of one another, both Arrow and Chicago Fire killed off beloved queer characters, and offered eerily identical excuses. According to their producers, these women had to die in order to inflict the maximum emotional damage on everyone around them. This, respectfully, is some tired shit. The only reason you dispose of a character is because you consider that character disposable. So, until we have stories that actually reflect the rich spectrum of queer female experience, here are some fresh excuses for the old tropes. Writers, showrunners, and producers, the next time you find yourself struggling to justify your hackneyed, lazy decision, just borrow one of these easy justifications.

-This lesbian character had to sleep with a man, because their child is destined to wield the sword Lightbreaker, and bring balance to the realm.

-In this show only women can be bisexual, because this show is set in an alternate universe. The toilets also flush backwards, if you pay really close attention.

-We do not depict lesbian sex because we don’t understand how it works and no one will tell us.


-Lesbian characters walk into this parking lot and never come back because this parking lot is vast beyond your wildest imaginings.

-Scientifically, lesbians gravitate towards dangerous professions. And bullets. And cars.

-These two women have not kissed because this is a Disney property and Walt specifically requested that there be no “hot girl on girl action” until we wake him up from cryofreeze.

-These lesbians are obsessed with childbearing because their biological clocks have synced up, along with their menstrual cycles and relationships to the moon goddess.

-This lesbian character can only conceive a child through traditional heterosexual intercourse because her ovaries are Amish.

-We have it on good authority that longing glances and closed mouth kisses are considered sex in the lesbian community.


-Test audiences exhibit inappropriate sexual behaviors when exposed to lesbian sex scenes. That is why we now indicate lesbian sex with long shots of closed doors.

-This biographical film of a queer historical lady leaves out all her relationships with women because there is no evidence that women even knew how to have sex prior to the invention of pornography.

-Sweeps week acts upon latent lesbian tendencies like the full moon acts upon werewolves. Once the madness has passed they wake up naked on a hillside with fur in their teeth, shrug, and return to their normal lives.

-This bisexual character had to die because The Queer Girl Ghost Squad was short a member.


-Don’t think of it as “dying.”  This lesbian character will become the grass, and then a lesbian will eat that grass as part of a cleanse, and the circle of life will continue.

-This queer character had to die because we are exploring lesbian tears as a renewable energy source.

-To be fair, all lesbians will eventually die.

-This lesbian character had to die because she had already slept with a man, had a baby, and disappeared into a parking lot so there was really nothing left for her to do.

Parking Lot

Feel free to add your own!

More you may like