Mysterious Wife Plague

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See also: Misogyny in Fandom, Women In Refrigerators, The Cartwright Curse
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A shorthand way of describing the slash practice of killing off female canon characters in order to pair off the men. This term may have been in use in pre-Internet UK fandom and does not appear to be in use online as of 2015.[1] However, the plot point itself may still be used.

The answer to the question "What are you going to do about X [character's wife or girlfriend]?" is usually "Mysterious wife plague."

In Canon

Sometimes this happens in canon, as a way to foreground the relationship between the male leads. For example, in "The Return of Sherlock Holmes", Watson's wife has died, and Watson moves back in with Holmes.

Women In Refrigerators is a common trope in superhero comics where the (violent) death of the woman becomes the catalyst for the male hero's actions.


  1. ^ See the talk page. Searching the phrase on google turns up only one result that isn't a Fanlore page.