We all know the story: UnluckyEverydude suddenly gets lucky, REAL lucky. You've seen it already, but you're ready to give it your own shot. Well, TV Tropes, as always, is here to give you some pointers.


!'''Choices, Choices'''
Naturally, the first trope you need depends on what kind of "Magic" you want in your Girlfriend. Will she be an Alien? A Goddess? A Ghost? [[RidiculouslyHumanRobots Ridiculously Human Robot]]? A really, ''really'' cute EldritchAbomination? A [[YaoiGuys guy]]? Or is your UnluckyEverydude [[GenderFlip a Dudette]]?

Naturally, each of these choices has its own set of tropes that come with it. Using a Goddess may bring Magic and all it comes with, while a RobotGirl brings into question the level of SpeculativeFiction you want to bring in.

!'''Necessary Tropes'''

After that, the second trope is usually the [[HaremGenre Harem]]: The bevy of additional characters, usually [[{{Moe}} cute females]], that end up getting drawn into the hero's life by the presence of the Girlfriend. You may not ''want'' a [[HaremGenre harem]], but it's important to consider.

The point for a [[HaremGenre harem]] is, well, it's a collection of cute girls (and maybe some sexy women) that appeals to a lot of people. For many people, that's reason enough.

On the other hand, a harem can take over the series. How, you ask? In one word: '''{{Shipping}}'''. Not everyone is gonna buy your couple. Whether it's because they don't find your writing plausible, or they just prefer another member of the cast to get with one of your leads. Some people don't like harems in the first place.

And let's not get into the fan and Doujin artists...

If your MagicalGirlfriend isn't native to your setting, FishOutOfWater will often come into play. This trope can be a good excuse why the girl is stuck with your mundane hero and it can often lead to CharacterDevelopment.

!'''Pitfalls'''

* UnluckyEverydude: The first pitfall, of course, is your Hero. If you look around, it's fairly obvious, if a little ironic, that the least popular character of any given MagicalGirlfriend series is usually the UnluckyEverydude in the middle. This is usually intentional, as the idea of the MagicalGirlfriend as WishFulfillment seems to mandate that he be as transparent as possible so to make it easier for the audience members to see themselves in his place. Arguably good for the viewer, but the poor boy as a character tends to suffer greatly for it.
* OfficialCouple: Yes, this is arguably the most important part of the series. That's ''why'' it's a Pitfall. The problem of the Official Couple is twofold: Pace and Choice.
** '''The Problem with Pacing''' is the amount of time between the moment when the affection between the members of the OfficialCouple become mutual, and the end of the series. Most series make this happen way too early, and spend the rest of the series trying to dance around the inevitable resolution that will bring the series to an end. People can only take so much of them [[CanNotSpitItOut Not Spitting It Out]], or him trying to [[StatusQuoIsGod not make a choice]] while making it look like he's still deciding.
** '''The Challenge of the Choice''' is when there are other members of the UnwantedHarem who also have romantic designs on the hero. Once the Hero's choice becomes obvious, any hints of the other [[{{Shipping}} potential mates]] is just [[ShipTease screwing with the fans' hearts]], and tends to foster [[DieForOurShip "dissatisfaction"]] with the OfficialCouple (then again, confirmation itself can do that).
* PuritySue / TsundereSue: In terms of the girlfriend(s) there is also quite a bit to be careful of when it comes to characterizing them. Given the nature of the series there will be elements of wish fulfillment in any girl who's introduced, but there's a fine line between catering to that and making her have no character otherwise. If she's too perfect she'll quickly gain the ire of the fans (especially the female ones) but if she's too {{Tsundere}}, violent, or is constantly belittling the guy she'll gain little sympathy and fans will start to wonder what anyone might see in her. The trick here seems to be balancing her positive and negative traits so she actually has dimension and is still likable.

!'''Potential Subversions'''

* Being that the UnluckyEverydude tends to be an AudienceSurrogate, how about lessening up on the ThisLoserIsYou factor? Another reason for the hatred of this character type is the magnification of the audience's own flaws, which is not only insulting, but also makes the audience wonder what the hell the girl(s) sees in him. Instead of a schlub who blunders into this extraordinary luck, try to make him more of a Diamond in the Rough-type who has his qualities (not only redeeming ones, but exceptional too) brought out by the girl(s) through love, encouragement, and genuine CharacterDevelopment. Not only does this subvert the trope, but it also brings about a nice [[AnAesop Aesop]] about bringing out the best in yourself.
** Works that have a lot of action scenes sometime avoid UnluckyEverydude by making the man a fine person, even a BadassNormal one, it's just that he CantCatchUp with the MagicalGirlWarrior heroine (and this is also a good source for drama).
* Instead of the hero being [[ChasteHero utterly clueless]] about the girls' crush(es) on him, how about having him actually try to work out some of his feelings about how he loves the girls and in what way, then try to deal with it directly and honestly. Alternately, explore in-depth why someone may be oblivious to the crushes. Because of the impartial third-person perspective, the audience may not fully comprehend how your character sees the world
* Develop the relationship of the OfficialCouple. Love doesn't end with the FirstKiss. Few series' will go all the way past the declaration of love and into dating, temptation (past MaleGaze, AccidentalPervert and the like, we mean), marriage (especially considering the complications of the Girlfriend's nature) and children (again, plenty of complications there). Many fanfictions have done pretty well exploring the joy and pain that comes after "I Love You."
* You ''could'' end the story by having the hero reject the Magical Girlfriend for a mundane haremette. This has actually happened from time to time. Be very careful and make sure that the OfficialCouple mundane haremette is also well developed, or fan's reaction will be less than pleasant...
** Let's get into detail here. This ending is a BitterSweetEnding, the magical girlfriend alway has genuine love toward the hero, but she can't be with him for whatever reason. Often, TheMagicGoesAway with her as well, and the OfficialCouple may [[LaserGuidedAmnesia not remember the whole events at all]]. Why? This ending is really [[AnAesop a parting message to the audiences]], "No matter how beautiful the fantasy is, you still need to be with mundane reality.". In order to pull this ending well enough, make sure that the magical girlfriend, your embodiment of fantasy, did all of her work before departing, that's to invoke CharacterDevelopment of other. The hero should be less of loser, the ChildhoodFriend with CannotSpitItOut problem should found her strength to confess to the hero, the AlphaBitch who seem cruel to the hero should has revealed her HiddenHeartOfGold, etc. Compare it to AllJustADream, it isn't bad if you learn something from it and wake up wiser. Fail to do that, and this ending will be a rude waking.
* Make the MagicalGirlfriend utterly psychotic and incredibly violent, with MAYBE a reason to feel sympathy for her. ''Manga/ElfenLied'' pulled this off magnificently with Lucy, and actually turned her into a sympathetic character over the last few episodes.
* Try it without the harem. Stick with just the one girl. That ought to throw people for a loop.
* What about [[ThemedHarem making all the haremettes "magical"]], either in the same way (they're all goddesses, robots, etc.) or different ways (you've got the witch, the elf, the shapeshifting water blob...)?
* Or hey -- make your protagonist a ''female'' and have the story be [[YuriGenre Girls Love]] instead. How often has ''that'' been done before?
** Or make them ''both'' guys and make it a BoysLove series!
* We mentioned FishOutOfWater already, but how about taking it UpToEleven by giving the girl some BlueAndOrangeMorality? This can mix especially well if you plan to create an {{Anti Hero}}ic (or worse) MagicalGirlfriend, but still want to portray her as innocent.
* Magical Girlfriend stories often include LoveObstructingParents, who either a) hate the hero's guts, or b) try to push the relationship along in an extremely rushed and tacky way. Well, how about parents, siblings or whatever who actually ''approve'' of the relationship, and let it evolve at its own pace (although they may try to speed things up a ''little'')? If you must have them disapprove of the relationship, make sure they have a good reason for doing so (perhaps the heroine will become an ordinary mortal if she consummates the relationship). And instead of the heroine being a NaiveEverygirl who is oblivious to all their antics, have her realize what's going on, and give her family a telling off for interfering in her love life.

!'''Writers' Lounge'''

* In the Subversions section above, we mentioned a possible theme of "Love brings out the best in you," which is uncharted territory for the most part. "Love is never easy" is a common theme, whether it's intentional or not.

!!'''Suggested Themes and Aesops'''

* Act or be lost: A possibility within a harem is what happens when one of the girls gets tired of waiting, or finds someone else that captures her interest ''before'' the hero makes his choice. What happens when a girl has had it with the hero's indecisiveness and walks away from the mess. Many heroes don't make a choice because they may be afraid of losing the friendship of the other girls. What happens when you lose it anyway?

!!'''Potential Motifs'''
* Depending on the nature of the MagicalGirlfriend, there are various groups of motifs to choose from:
** If she a Goddess, Ghost, Witch or other magic being, there may be religion in play (if so, ''which'' religion may be important). Things like magic circles or "fantasy clothing" can also show they certainly aren't from "around here".
** A RobotGirl on the other hand may or may not have obvious mechanical parts. Circuit boards, TronLines or [[PowerGlows Things That Glow]] may accentuate her artificial nature.
* The otherwordliness of the character is an important motif. Strange and/or unusual behaviour differing from the norm will make her stand out from the crowd, can lead to complicated (or funny) situations and may ultimately help CharacterDevelopment when she gets more used to her surroundings and starts acting accordingly.
* CuteMonsterGirl and LittleBitBeastly heroines naturally have AnimalMotifs or equivalent and behaviour can be derived from it. They might also proudly wear something relating to their type on their clothes (for example a paw logo for a CatGirl). Their instincts can again become defining traits or something they try to overcome for their beloved via CharacterDevelopment.
* If your protagonist has a visible design, rather than being featureless, giving him/her any of these may also work. For example he could start human but develop more toward what the MagicalGirlfriend is and gain traits of her (wings for example which look like those of their dragon girlfriend).

!!'''Suggested Plots'''
* The plot that always seems to turn up in these series is the repossession attempt. The MagicalGirlfriend is "defective" or a runaway, refugee or criminal and someone shows up to try to take her back by hook or crook. This is a safe pretext for action scenes.
* The other standard plot is the appearance of a romantic rival. This can be more difficult than the repo people since it usually can't be resolved by mere superhuman violence. Sometimes it turns into the seed for a harem or a LoveDodecahedron.
!'''Departments'''
!!'''Set Designer''' / '''Location Scout'''
* Except with robot girlfriends, a strong separation needs to be made from the bizarre and fantastic world the girlfriend come from and the mundane suburban setting she now finds herself in. Usually there will be an academic institution and relatively large (by Japanese standards) home where most of the action takes place.
!!'''Props Department'''
* It's not unheard of for the magical girlfriend to have her own set of eccentric items. It could be something to an OrphansPlotTrinket, or even a RobotBuddy. Regardless, her knowledge (or lack thereof) of how to use her own arsenal is a great way for hijinks to ensue.
!!'''Costume Designer'''
* Like with motifs, it really depends on the nature of the MagicalGirlfriend. If she is literally magical and comes from heaven, hell, an alternate world etc, go with "fantasy clothes" (typically leather, belts, gold-lining etc) or something cool but from earlier time periods.
* Be careful with FanserviceCostumes and anything overly {{Stripperiffic}}, as this tends to distract from the actual character you want to portray. That's not to say your MagicalGirlfriend can't wear something sexy, of course, and your audience will likely find that to be a plus, but it should still make sense.
** Say your character is a knight, maybe even a paladin. Having her wear skimpy armour would probably look really silly and clash with the personality someone would expect. A BattleBallgown however can both look great and still be practical (potentially life-saving, if her enemies are also in our world now).
** On the other hand, a ferocious CatGirl in a FurBikini can totally work (and may trigger a PleasePutSomeClothesOn reaction).
* For constrast, normal and practical streetwear can go a long way to still look fashionable and give a different prespective for the newcomer(s).
* People love uniforms, so going with those is hardly a bad idea. They can also be used to illustrate concepts that may be foreign to the characters.
!!'''Casting Director'''
!!'''Stunt Department'''
* If your series features action, there will probably be a lot of running and fighting. Depending on the nature of your characters, this can involve swords and sorcery, gun play or other things. Flying from place to place, explosions etc are good ways to bring the story forward while also looking interesting.
* On the other hand, if the story involves little or no action, there won't be much if anything as far as stunts go.
!'''Extra Credit'''
!!'''The Greats'''
* ''Manga/AhMyGoddess'' is one of the classics of the genre, which avoids most of the classic pitfalls. Keiichi is an UnluckyEverydude, but he's not a complete loser, Belldandy is a domestic goddess but not without depth, the progress of their relationship is sweet and believable (albeit EXTREMELY slow), and the plot doesn't solely focus on their relationship, although that's a big part of it.
* Widely considered a CultClassic and, despite or because of it being a brutal {{Deconstruction}}, ''VisualNovel/SayaNoUta'' gained fame because the story combines CosmicHorror with a MagicalGirlfriend (the titular Saya) who looks cute to protagonist Fuminori (due to his vision being corrupted, making everything except Saya look, sound and taste horrific) and genuinely loves him, but Saya is also an ApocalypseMaiden who has no issues with torturing and killing humans (and then eating them), while dragging Fuminori down the abyss. Ultimately however it is still a MonsterSobStory that is simply about two StarCrossedLovers.
!!'''The Epic Fails'''
* ''Anime/ItsudatteMySanta'': Is rather infamous for using a rather gimmicky theme (Christmas as the title suggests) to try to compensate for an otherwise generic series with even more generic and forgettable characters.
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