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If you haven't met the perfect couple, let me introduce you. They stand atop a layer of butter-cream frosting. The secret of their success? Well, for starters, they don't have to look at each other.—Mary Alice Young, Desperate Housewives
There is a tradition of putting little bride and groom figurines on top of the wedding cake. At some point there became a film tradition of using a shot of the figurines to tell us about the wedding. This occurs particularly if there is something unusual about the bride and groom that they can show in the figurines; e.g., a gay or lesbian wedding, an interracial marriage, the groom is a huge Packers fan. Just as often it can be a commentary or joke on the wedding or the marriage or sometimes just to establish the scene at the reception, with the amount of damage to the cake indicating time passed.
If left at the altar expect a character to take out their frustration on the half of the cake topper that left them. Or talk to it while weeping.
- In Shrek, Fiona and Farquaad's cake shows them of about equal height even though Farquaad really isn't. Fiona sarcastically pushes his halfway down into the cake for a more realistic portrayal.
- One Swedish Chef sketch on The Muppet Show has him making an onion cake which has Miss Piggy and Kermit as bride and groom. The cake sinks the moment he puts on the Miss Piggy figure.
- The DVD cover of Gay Weddings here.
- Gahan Wilson drew a cartoon where two chefs are looking at a wedding cake with two guys on it. One chef doesn't look too happy, but the second tells him, "Times change."
- In the George of the Jungle movie, the little figures Break the Fourth Wall and shriek in terror just before George smashes them into bits.
- A wedding cake topper is used for Sympathetic Magic in the Amicus anthology horror From Beyond the Grave (1973).
- Mel Brooks parodied this in Silent Movie, where he and Bernadette Peters see a wedding cake in a shop window. They then fantasy-segue into a gown-and-tails dance number on a wedding cake, struggling as they go as the icing gets deeper and deeper. At the end, the scene fades back to Mel and Bernadette, gazing soulfully at each other, not noticing the bride and groom figures are now splattered with icing.
- An episode of The Simpsons had Marge and Homer find their old wedding cake top with the figures still on it. Homer speculates that they have "wee little parties" at night, and then attempts to quickly open the freezer and catch them in the act. Another episode has Homer eat the couple on top of Apu and Mandula's cake, believing them to be made of icing.
- There was a joke on Scrubs where Turk made a huge deal about the cake place not having Black/Latina cake-topper couples. The offer to touch them up with chocolate icing... didn't go over well.
- Dungeons and Dragons module I6 Ravenloft: On the day Sergei was to marry Tatyana, Strahd murdered Sergei so he could have Tatyana for himself. The wedding cake is in a room in Strahd's castle: Tatyana's figurine is still on top of the cake, but Sergei's has been cast to the floor (presumably by Strahd).
- One of the intros to Penn and Teller Bullshit includes a scene where a Bride and Groom are placed on the top tier of a cake... then two Grooms on the next tier, two Brides on another, and finally Three Brides and Two Grooms.
- In Futurama Leela was engaged to a fellow Cyclops shapeshifting grasshopper and the top of the wedding cake shows the bride on her knees polishing the groom's shoes. It more or less defines the way he treated her.
- LEGO Artist Eric Harshbarger has created many wedding items out of LEGO bricks, including cake toppers. Read about them here, see the cake here, and see a closeup of the LEGO cake topper here.
- At the end of Sweet Home Alabama, the happy couple has an impromptu wedding reception at the local bar/hangout. Since the original cake toppers no longer fit, one of their friends grabs a pair of Rock Em Sock Em Robots as a substitute.
- When Daphne left Donny on Frasier, he took the male half of the cake topper back to his office and talked to it about how they'd both been abandoned.
- Oh, "Something Blue" from Buffy the Vampire Slayer...
Spike: I don't like him. He's insipid. Clearly human.
Buffy: Ah ha! We can smear a little red paint on the lips. The blood of the innocent...
Spike: That's my girl!
- In one of the Babysitters Club books, Mary Anne's classmate mentions bride and groom cake toppers during a social studies class, "or maybe you could have a giant plastic wedding bell, right ..."
- An EC Comics story was based around a conman using bride and groom voodoo dolls to bewitch a wealthy old woman to marry him so he could have her money. He is eventually killed by the bride doll, which had maintained its power after the woman's death, and was being kept as a cake topper on a leftover piece of their wedding cake.
- In one episode of Family Guy, Peter sets up Meg for a shotgun wedding, after she believes that she's pregnant. While planning the wedding, Peter says that the store was all out of little cake figurines, so instead he got a toy version of The Iron Giant and one of those courtroom rag dolls where they ask the children just where the suspect touched them.
- Wacky Races: Dick Dastardly once lured Peter Perfect and Penelope Pitstop into a bakery where he somehow managed to put them into the top of a wedding cake and dressed like bride and groom.
- The Larry Niven short story What Can You Say About Chocolate Manhole Covers is set in part at a divorce party, where a couple is splitting up, but friendly. A black frosted divorce cake has the toppers facing away from each other.