Created By: Unknown Troper on August 3, 2008
Nuked

Manic Pixie Dream Girl

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Bob La Rice: The AV Club defines it as an attractive female character who "exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures."

Typical examples include Natalie Portman in "Garden State", Kirsten Dunst in "Elizabethtown", Meg Ryan in "Joe Versus the Volcano", Kate Hudson in "Almost Famous"...
Community Feedback Replies: 23
  • August 4, 2008
    ScudEast
    ...Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's...
  • August 4, 2008
    {{Fly}}
    Star Girl from the book of the same name managed to do this to a whole school...
  • August 4, 2008
    Clerval
    Oh and preferably they should look, act and dress like they're about 12 years old, too. (Ugh, Garden State).
  • August 4, 2008
    {{Fly}}
    Haruhi Suzumiya, although she's more subtle than most. I think some of the translated lyrics from Hare Hare Yukai may even work as a page quote.
  • August 4, 2008
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
  • August 4, 2008
    Pisthetairos
    Has a few elements of Mary Sue?
  • August 4, 2008
    Tzetze
  • August 4, 2008
    Clerval
    I'd say some, but is at more of a disadvantage than a true Sue, at least going by the ones that I recognise from the original post, anyway. They may spread wonder and kittens wherever they go, but they don't exert the same gravitational plot-warp -- the focus will remain on the hero and the gradual opening of his heart. And they often seem to need more support and looking after.

  • August 4, 2008
    Duncan
  • August 4, 2008
    Sir Psycho Sexy
    Duncan: I think that's what he's implying.

    Magical Female.

    (And while we're at it, can we do Magical Homosexual as well?)
  • August 4, 2008
    BobLaRice
    I am rather fond of the phrase Manic Pixie Dream Girl - Magical Female might be too close to Magical Girl. I'd be cool with a redirect, though.
  • August 4, 2008
    SchrodingersDuck
    Many of J.D.'s love interests from Scrubs - Julie is the most noticeable, but Kylie, Molly and even Kim have elements of this. It also subverted the trope, though, with the seemingly happy-go-lucky psychiatrist Alex, who it turns out is not only high on life, but also high on prescription drugs stolen from the hospital.
  • August 4, 2008
    Silent Hunter
    Kaylee from Firefly?
  • August 4, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    "MPD Gs are whimsical, improbably gorgeous creatures that materialize out of nowhere and are somehow moved to adopt feeble protagonists who are barely holding onto the bottom rung. Where most women would seek romantic fulfillment elsewhere, MPD Gs work their rejuvenating charm on broken men, like Will Smith working the hitch out of Matt Damon's golf swing in The Legend Of Bagger Vance. And what do they expect in return? Precious little." -Scott Tobias of the A.V. Club describing Emily Watson's character from Punch Drunk Love, along with the standard template for the MPDG.
  • August 4, 2008
    Coriander
    Anyone who's ever read Stargirl is more than familiar with this character (though in the end of that book, the soulful brooding guy is left in the dust).

    I like this trope, but unless we define it well, it's just going to be every love interest for every guy ever. Suggestions on how to avoid this?
  • August 4, 2008
    ScudEast
    Give it a name that specifies it more. Synthetic Heroine?
  • August 5, 2008
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    Although I've never watched Firefly, I'd guess that Kaylee doesn't qualify, since she's a regular character and assumedly has an actual life and background besides cheering on some lone (male) protagonist.
  • August 5, 2008
    Ninjacrat
    The female character from XKCD.
  • August 5, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    Already got a subversion in the form of Haruhara Haruko from FLCL, who hangs around and works her charm on Naota for entirely selfish reasons.
  • August 5, 2008
    Hazel
    I like Manic Pixie Dream Girl.

    There was a movie where Richard Gere was a womanizer who fell recklessly in love with a much younger woman, who was dying of heart disease. Naturally, she healed his broken heart. Or something.
  • August 5, 2008
    Clerval
    Kaylee is a bit like this, though, and is attracted to the comparatively strait-laced, stick-in-the-mud guy. Hmm... I wouldn't know where to draw the lines.

  • August 5, 2008
    PolarBear
    Hazel: That's Autumn in New York... She healed his broken heart, then she died and his heart broke again! It's tragic or something.
  • August 5, 2008
    BobLaRice
    Clerval: The line is drawn at the Manic Pixie Dream Girl's motivations. Do they have any character development of their own, or do they exist solely to spur on the character development of the male protagonist? Kaylee has a life outside of Simon, so she doesn't count.

    Oh, and the Ur Example may well be either "Harold and Maude" or "Bringing Up Baby".

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=u9xeirdrjv32fi9w06dsvb3z&trope=ManicPixieDreamGirl