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''The Princess Diaries'' is a YoungAdult book series by MegCabot following the exploits of Amelia "Mia" Thermopolis, a teenager who goes to Albert Einstein High School and lives with her strongly liberal single mom. Her life changes drastically when her father comes for a visit. After being treated for testicular cancer, he is no longer able to have children. Because of this, he finally tells Mia a secret he, her mother, and her grandmother ("Grandmere") have been keeping from her for years: he is really the Prince of the fictional principality of Genovia. Because of his illness and treatment, Mia is now Her Royal Highness of the country and [[HiddenBackupPrince the heir to the throne of Genovia.]]

Upon first hearing the news, Mia objects to the idea of having to become a princess and having to rule over Genovia. She also fears that this new status will make her an outcast at her school and [[IJustWantToBeNormal would rather just be a normal teenager.]] The series follows Mia as she slowly adjusts to becoming a Princess and coming to terms with the idea of being a ruler.

In 2001, the first book was adapted into [[Film/ThePrincessDiaries a movie]] starring Creator/AnneHathaway and JulieAndrews. It was followed by a sequel in 2004, ''The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement''. Both movies have a [[BroadStrokes large number of changes]] from the novels, with the second not resembling any plot point of any of the books with the exception of Mia's mother marrying her teacher and having a baby with him.
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!!Tropes in the books include:

* ACupAngst: Mia, a LOT.
* AdaptationDecay: The movies are referenced humorously as InUniverse examples. Almost every time they come up in the books, Mia makes a snide remark. She has little problem with the first movie, aside from how they portray her grandmother and how they kill her dad. The second film is the one she critiques for the decay (MegCabot has said that she liked the first film and hated the sequel).
* {{Adorkable}}: Mia, at some points.
* AllFirstPersonNarratorsWriteLikeNovelists: Zigzagged, sometimes Mia writes like this, sometimes she doesn't. Not to mention that Mia really is an aspiring novelist so it would make sense for her to write like this.
* AllLoveIsUnrequited: [[spoiler:In book 5, Boris towards Lilly. Also, Lilly towards JP.]]
* AllPsychologyIsFreudian: Averted, Lilly's parents are Jungian Psychiatrists and Mia tries for years to achieve self-actualisation.
* AlphaBitch: Lana Weinberger.
** LovableAlphaBitch: After she changes her attitude towards Mia.
* AmbiguousGender: Poor, poor Perin.
* ArabOilSheikh: Tina's father.
* BaldOfAwesome: Mia's father- she even compares him to [[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Jean-Luc Picard]].
* BetaCouple: Originally, Boris and Lilly, later Boris and Tina. Briefly there was also JP and Lilly, before JP moved on to Mia and Lilly moved on to Kenny.
* BettyAndVeronica: Mia between Michael (Betty) and Josh (Veronica) in the first book (and movie). In the later books it's Mia between JP (Betty) and Michael (Veronica).
* BigNo: Mia has a couple moments of these. Usually involving Grandmere.
* BitchInSheepsClothing: [[spoiler:J.P. turns out to be a ManipulativeBastard who was mainly using Mia to get famous.]]
* BlatantLies: Lana's election speech in Book 6 is full of these- in essence, she tells the crowd that she'll get them exactly what they want, despite the fact that, as Mia knows, it'd be impossible to get it (and in some cases, getting it would be totally unfair on others).
* BookDumb: Mia considers herself this, but, apart from [[WritersCannotDoMath math]], [[UnreliableNarrator it's hard for the reader to tell]].
** Lana and Trish consider her pretty smart but she spends a lot of time with [[TeenGenius Teen Geniuses]] Lilly and Michael which gives her a very high standard of intelligence. She is not very good at math and science, but is very good at English and speaks seemingly fluent French at times.
* BrickJoke: Mia's boyfriend suggests going bowling instead of going to prom. Years later, there is a reference to spending the night at an "all night bowling alley." Doubles as an unusual euphemism.
* CerebusRetcon: It's a RunningGag that after Mia and Michael get together she becomes neurotic about him breaking up with her because of her flaws and lack of accomplishments. [[spoiler: Then she breaks up with him after learning of his sexual history, and as a result of the ensuing TraumaCongaLine needs therapy to realize that she has to become the change she wants to have, and to make great accomplishments.]]
* ChangelingFantasy: Mia discovers that she's the princess of Genovia. Deconstructed, as it turns out to be a lot less fun than one might expect.
* CharacterOverlap: One of the novels has Mia reference Sam from ''All-American Girl'' and Jess from ''1-800-Where-R-U'', two of MegCabot's other works.
* ChekhovsGunman: [[spoiler:The Guy Who Hates It When They Put Corn In The Chili, JP Reynolds-Abernathy the Fourth ends up becoming Mia's boyfriend after she and Michael break up in the eighth book.]]
* CloudCuckoolander: Tina is this sometimes. Mia comments several times that she "wonders what it's like in Tinaland. Everything must be very shiny there."
* ComicBookTime: Subverted. The series takes place over four years, as Mia attends high school but the release of the books took around ten years (the first one was published in 2000, the last in early 2009). Despite the use of ComicBookTime, the books use heavy pop culture references and specific dates so it's pretty clear what year the book is set.
* ConsummateLiar: Mia. Although other characters eventually work out she has the tell of her nostrils flaring when she lies. [[spoiler: JP counts too.]]
* DeadpanSnarker: Lilly Moscovitz. Mia herself sometimes.
* DeliberateValuesDissonance: Grandmere to almost everyone else.
* DerailingLoveInterests: JP in the last book.
* {{Diary}}: A {{fiction}}al example.
* DorkHorseCandidate: Mia, and later, Lilly.
* EveryoneLovesBlondes: Mia, and later Boris and Lilly have their hair dyed blond when they undergo their [[TheMakeover makeovers]].
** Also, [[LovableAlphaBitch Lana Weinberger]] and [[JerkJock Josh Richter]] both have blond hair. As does JP.
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: {{Subverted}}, more often than not Mia thinks her life would be much better if she wasn't a princess.
-->'''Mia:''' (In her diary) Being royal loses a lot of its glamor once it actually happens to you.
* EvilMatriarch: Grandmere. Is also a CoolOldLady at times, as well as a MagnificentBitch.
* ExtremeDoormat: ''MIA''- the reason she lies all the time is to avoid hurting others by telling them her true feelings. This causes major problems for her.
* [[FirstGirlWins First Boy Wins]]: [[spoiler:Out of all her potential love interests throughout the series, Michael was not only the first one she met, but the first one she had a crush on.]]
* GameOfNerds: viz., Michael's game.
* {{Geek}}s, {{Nerd}}s
* GeniusDitz: Tina.
* GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff: In universe. ''Lilly Tells It Like It Is'' wound up being very popular in Korea.
* GlamorousSingleMother: Subverted with Helen. On one hand she's a gorgeous, successful artist with a nice artist loft in Manhattan with an active social life. On the other hand she can only afford her home and Mia's school because Philippe pays for it all and Mia's childhood was full of moments of her mom messing up, like their power being cut off.
* GrandeDame: Mia's grandmother.
* GranolaGirl: Mia is a vegetarian and often gives donations to Greenpeace.
* GrayEyes: Mia
* [[SheIsNotMyGirlfriend He Is Not My Boyfriend]]: JP. Mia doesn't want to date him because she just broke up with her long-time boyfriend. An article in the ''New York Post'' saying they should get together because they're both "so tall and blond" doesn't exactly help. Also, everyone thinks he's the perfect guy for her.
** And a year and a half when she dating him [[spoiler:[[OldFlame Michael]] comes back from Japan. Mia still has feelings for him. Tina can tell, and constantly pesters her about it.]]
* HeroicBSOD: Mia spends book 9 trying to pull herself out of [[spoiler:clinical depression]].
* HiddenBackupPrince
* HideYourLesbians: Perin and Ling Su.
** Though Ling Su is mentioned to have a boyfriend in the first couple of books - it turns out in ''Volume X'' that any dates with boys either of them had was to [[TheBeard pretend to be straight]].
* IJustWantToBeNormal: For most of the series Mia wants to just go back to her old life.
* InformedAbility: Tina is apparently smart enough to become a surgeon. we don't see much evidence of this but it's not impossible given her personality that she's a BunnyEarsLawyer.
* InsecureLoveInterest: ''Both'' Michael and Mia suffer from this. Michael feels he needs to prove himself worthy of dating a princess, and Mia considers herself not intelligent enough to date a genius.
* InsistentTerminology: ''Braid!'' isn't a play, it's a musical.
** Applebee's doesn't have Bloomin' Onions, that's Outback.
* InsufferableGenius: Lilly.
* IvyLeagueForEveryone: Somewhat justified, as the series takes place at an upper class private school in New York.
** And even then most don't get their first choice college and as Lana points out she (and perhaps some other students) have parents who are legacies.
** In the election debate in book 6, Lana promises to get everyone into Ivy League schools if they elect her. Part of Mia's reaction and response is pointing out that nobody is guaranteed entrance to an Ivy League school, even if they had parents who went there.
** Mia herself manages to be accepted to every Ivy League school. However, it is very obvious that she was only accepted because she is a Princess and a celebrity. This greatly disappoints Mia and she ends up not going to any of them as a result, preferring to go to Sarah Lawrence.
* JerkJock: Josh Richter.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Lilly and Grandmere. Michael at times, especially in the early books.
* LonersAreFreaks: Mia sometimes thinks this, but the series plays with the trope.
** Tina was a loner in high school due to her bodyguard and OverprotectiveDad. When Mia sits with her, however, she finds out that Tina is SpoiledSweet and thinks highly of everyone.
** Played straight, then subverted in Book 7 with The Guy Who Hates It When They Put Corn In The Chili (aka JP Reynolds-Abernathy IV)
*** ( [[spoiler: But in the end played straight, since JP turns out to be a ManipulativeBastard in Book 10.]]
* LoveTriangle: Many, the main ones being Michael/Mia/JP, Mia/JP/Lilly, Lilly/Boris/Tina. Some more minor ones are Michael/Mia/Kenny, Mia/Michael/Judith, Boris/Lilly/Hank, Boris/Lilly/Jangbu, Mia/Josh/Lana.
** LoveDodecahedron, as of Book 6 or so on.
* TheMakeover: Subverted in that Mia thinks her makeover makes her look worse, and after a while she goes back to looking like she normally does ("like a blonde Q-tip") and her looks aren't brought up very often after that.
* MicroMonarchy: Genovia.
* MrMuffykins: Grandmere's poodle Rommel is a mix of type one and two of this trope.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: How Mia feels at the end of "Princess on the Brink".
* NerdsAreSexy
* NiceGirl: Mia is this most of the time. Also Tina.
* NoodleIncident: "I will apologize to the Genovian olive growers about that thing with the pits."
* TheNoseKnows: Mia frequently comments that she loves the smell of Michael's neck. In the last book, she realizes that there's a scientific explanation for it during her psychology exam.
* NumberedSequels - The UK versions of series have fun with this; the sequels are called ''The Princess Diaries: Take Two'', ''The Princess Diaries: Third Time Lucky'', ''The Princess Diaries: Mia Goes Fourth'', ''The Princess Diaries: Give Me Five'', ''The Princess Diaries: Sixsational'', ''The Princess Diaries: Seventh Heaven'', ''The Princess Diaries: After Eight'', ''The Princess Diaries: To the Nines'' and ''The Princess Diaries: Ten Out of Ten''.
* ObliviousToLove: Mia. If you want to let her know about your romantic intentions, do not be subtle about it. Just straight up tell her or she will never realize it. Before they got together she thought Michael tutored her in algebra (''daily'') because she was Lilly's friend, that he asked about what she did on the weekend so they could do more algebra, that his song about her was just 'some guy' who liked 'a girl' and wandered about shirtless by accident. [[{{UpToEleven}} Yeah...]]
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: The Guy Who Hates It When They Put Corn In The Chili. It's revealed late in the series that his name is JP.
* OppositesAttract: Mia considers herself and Michael this, as opposed to her BirdsOfAFeather relationship with JP, even finding a scientific explanation (see TheNoseKnows above). In actuality, she and Michael have a lot in common, [[UnreliableNarrator she just has a hard time seeing it that way]].
* OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent
* ParentsAsPeople: While they are GoodParents Mia's mother is a flighty artist and her father is a [[TheCasanova casanova]] prince, so they fall under this trope as well.
* PerverseSexualLust: More than once Mia's friends tease her about her weird love for two-dimensional guys, including "ComicBook/{{Hellboy}}, Disney/{{Tarzan}}, [[Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast the Beast]], [[WesternAnimation/{{Daria}} Tom Sloane]], [[Disney/{{Mulan}} and that hot soldier guy]]".
* PinocchioNose: Mia's nostrils flare when she lies.
* PoliticallyActivePrincess: Mia.
** Also GenderInverted with Mia's dad, as it's actually wondered by one of the other characters why [[spoiler:Phillipe bothers to run in the Genovian election]], and Mia specifically responds with something similar to this trope.
* PreppyName: Justified as most of the characters are either royalty or are wealthy and actually go to prep school. John Paul Reynolds-Abernathy IV is probably the most egregious example.
** Mia herself qualifies; her full name (and title) is Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo, Her Royal Highness the Princess of Genovia.
* PunnyName: Mia's shrink, Dr. Knutz, which is lampshaded by Mia.
* QuirkyCurls: Mia started out with them but her make-over flat-ironed them away.
* RaceForYourLove: Subverted. [[spoiler:Mia races to the airport to meet Michael before his plane leaves for Japan. She's too late - his flight has left.]]
* RealWomenNeverWearDresses: In-universe: Mia spends a couple of pages wangsting about how her grandmother [[FelonyMisdemeanor took her to an expensive hairdresser]]. Same goes for painted nails. To be fair, part of her complaints are that they make her look like [[AlphaBitch Lana]].
** In the last book when Mia's trying to publish the romance novel she wrote many people -- namely JP and Grandmere-- fuss over the fact it's a ''romance'' novel. Never mind that it's 400 pages long, she did tons of research on medieval times, she spent two years working on it, and it's actually one of the hardest genres to write well.
* ReallyGetsAround: Mia's father to the point were it's kind of surprising she's his only kid.
** [[spoiler: Actually, she isn't. There will be a sequel series about Mia's half-sister called FromTheNotebooksOfAMiddleSchoolPrincess]]
* RebelliousPrincess: Mia
* RichBitch: Lana and Trisha. [[spoiler:They both get better.]]
* RidiculouslyCuteCritter: [[FatCat Fat Louie]].
* RousingSpeech: Mia gives two. One when she's running against Lana for the post of StudentCouncilPresident, and another when she gets invited to speak at a Domina Rei function.
* SheIsAllGrownUp: Boris, who actually manages to turn hot later in the series.
** Mia becomes this trope over the course of the series, which is {{Lampshaded}} by other characters in Book 10.
* ShipperOnDeck: Tina tends to ship her friends, especially Mia. Mia's mom and Mr G also seem to ship Mia/Michael. Grandmere however ships [[spoiler: Mia/JP]]. Mia herself ships Boris/Tina in later books though its mostly to protect Boris from Lilly after she cheated on him.
** In Book 9, Lana ships [[spoiler: JP]] with Mia, believing that he can be her [[spoiler: rebound guy.]] Later Lana, Trisha and Tina start to ship [[spoiler:Mia/Michael]] when the latter reappears.
* ShoutOut: Several, including ''Series/{{Firefly}}'', ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', ''Series/{{Degrassi}}'', ''StarWars'', ''TheLordOfTheRings'', and ''Franchise/SailorMoon''.
* SingleGirlSeeksMostPopularGuy: Only in the first book.
** SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan: For the rest of the series.
* SoapboxSadie: Lilly. Mia occasionally gets into this territory as well.
* StrawFeminist: LILLY, to the point where she writes an "essay" about [[TallPoppySyndrome famous women she is jealous of]] and why they should all go away to a desert island for being beautiful. [[KeiraKnightley Keira Knightley]] and [[Creator/HalleBerry Halle Berry]] are some of the actresses on this list.
* SuperOCD: Mia obsesses about many, many things. PlayedForLaughs and Deconstructed. Her over the top obsessing over things can be funny but causes her a lot of stress that takes its toll on her mental health.
** Lilly even calls Mia a "baby-licker" for fussing about Rocky's health (Rocky being Mia's younger half-brother), and Mia's mom starts nicknaming her that.
* SympatheticPOV: Some of Mia's actions look a lot less sympathetic once you hear Lana and Lilly's side of the story.
** Also we the reader are supposed to view some of Mia's actions and thoughts as ridiculous, like if she and her friends believe they are behaving like intellectuals but are actually behaving like silly teenage girls (for example, Mia and Tina's inability to understand Ms. Martinez liking ''PrideAndPrejudice'' for reasons other than "how hot Creator/ColinFirth looked"). However, since Mia is the one writing it, she doesn't understand how silly this comes across as. In fact this is one of the main sources of humor in the series.
* TheBGrade: played straight and averted. In book 6 Mia is horrified to get a B in English, her best subject. The B was mainly due to the fact her new English teacher didn't like the essay subject. On the other hand Mia is thrilled to get a B- in algebra.
* TheSnarkKnight: Lilly, so, so much.
* TalentedPrincessRegularGuy: Inverted with Mia and Michael. Mia's relationships with JP and Kenny could also count, since they are both incredibly smart and talented as well.
* TheAtoner: Lilly becomes this in Book 10, after she [[spoiler: created that nasty hate site about Mia and Michael found out about it.]] Mia takes a while to figure it out, though.
* TheTalk
* TheirFirstTime: [[spoiler:In the later books, Mia and Michael plan for this, but it is called off by Mia when it turns out it ISN'T [[AManIsNotAVirgin his]] first time.]]
* ThereAreNoTherapists: Averted in books 9 and 10. Also, Lilly and Michael's parents question Mia when she goes over to their apartment and Lilly tries to imitate them.
* ThinksLikeARomanceNovel: Tina does this, making her GenreSavvy in a romantic comedy series. Mia sometimes lapses into this.
* ThisIsReality: In Book 10, Mia tries this mindset by saying "Life is not a romance novel" after [[spoiler: Michael walks out of her birthday party on seeing JP invite Mia to prom with a "promise ring."]]. The book itself subverts this, however.
* {{Transsexual}}: Ronnie, Mia's neighbor.
* TwoDecadesBehind: Tons of references to [[PrettyInPink classic]] [[SayAnything 80's]] [[DirtyDancing teen]] movies and TV shows like Series/PartyOfFive and ''Series/{{Charmed}}''..
* TwiceShy: A thousand times Mia and Michael. It's implied Michael's had feelings for Mia long before the beginning of the series, and Mia realizes she has a crush on him during the first book. Even though EveryoneCanSeeIt and they hang out every day, they take three books to admit they love each other, even dating other people in the middle. To finally clear things up they resort to sending anonymous love letters and replying via a computer program.
* UnintentionalPeriodPiece: The whole series references the events, pop culture, and the fashions of the TheNineties and the [[TurnOfTheMillennium 2000s]] can make a new reader have to search the internet for what they are referencing; it's also so when they reference [[HarsherInHindsight the deceased Dick Clark hosting the New Years Celebration]] in "Holiday Princess".
* UnreliableNarrator: While Mia doesn't mean to lie in her diary, she often has memory lapses or a [[NaiveEverygirl rose-tinted]]/[[ComicalOverreacting melodramatic]] reaction to what is going on around her and completely misinterprets people's motives.
* VisualPun: In ''Princess In the Spotlight'', Lilly wears a black slip and a beard for her Halloween costume. She's a FreudianSlip.
* WhatDoesSheSeeInHim/[[WhatDoesSheSeeInHim What Does He See In Her?]]: This trope goes both ways in the relationship between Mia and Michael. And Mia keeps asking herself this, which creates a lot of Wangst.
* WideEyedIdealist: Tina, whenever romance is involved. [[spoiler:Subverted a bit when Tina reveals to Mia that she's been sleeping with Boris regularly for about a year or so, but she still has an overly idealistic attitude about love.]]
** Mia can also be like this when romance is involved, as pointed out by her parents.
* WillTheyOrWontThey: Michael and Mia in the first three books, and then again in the last one. [[spoiler: They do. Twice.]]
* WithFriendsLikeThese: Lilly is a ''horrible'' friend, but for much of the series she's one of the few friends that Mia has.
* WritersCannotDoMath: Mia herself, to the point where you start to wonder if she has dyscalculia or a similar disorder related to numbers.
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