[[caption-width-right:300:The most beautiful klutz in the world...]]

A 2000 comedy film directed by Donald Petrie and starring Creator/SandraBullock, along with Creator/MichaelCaine, Creator/BenjaminBratt, Creator/WilliamShatner, Creator/ErnieHudson, and Creator/CandiceBergen.

When a terrorist threat is made to the Miss United States pageant/scholarship program, the FBI must send in one of their [[UndercoverModel undercover agents]] to find out the truth and stop disaster from occurring. But who can they send? Their list of possibilities is quickly narrowed to a single contender, Gracie Hart (Bullock), who is slender, pretty and fetching in a swimsuit. Now for the snag... she's also a hard-hitting, gun-toting tomboy whose demeanor is about as feminine as Creator/DolphLundgren.

As events continue, it becomes apparent that disaster may well be nigh, and it's down to Hart to successfully imitate a pageant contestant, win the trust of the other ladies, and discover who is planning to turn a harmless pageant into a horror movie.

Followed by a 2005 sequel, ''Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous''.

!! The first movie contains examples of:
* AmbiguouslyGay: Victor Melling (Creator/MichaelCaine), the man hired to teach Grace how to be feminine.
-->'''Victor Melling:''' [''teaching Gracie how to glide''] See? Glide. It's all in the buttocks. Don't I look pretty?
-->'''Gracie Hart:''' It takes a very secure man to walk like that.
** And of course played with later on...
--->'''Victor Melling:''' He's with me.
--->'''Eric Matthews:''' [[MistakenForGay I'm not "with him" with him]], you know? It's not like...
--->'''Victor Melling:''' Come on, Muffin!
** Of course, he ''is'' very eager to get Eric to join Gracie and him for lunch when he first meets him...
* AmbiguouslyJewish: Gracie, since Hart is a fairly common Jewish last name, her natural hair state is a wild mass of dark brown curls, and she occasionally uses YiddishAsASecondLanguage.
-->'''"Gracie Lue Freebush":''' Dear Jesus, please forgive me for not praying to you before I had a bite of my bagel and schmear.
* AnnoyingLaugh: Whenever Gracie laughs, she also does an oinking-like snort.
* AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther!: Other hints of attraction and the urgency of the situation aside, Eric's cry of "Gracie!" as she [[spoiler: fumbles with the rigged crown]] is filled with just the right emotion to invoke this trope. Props to Benjamin Bratt!
* BackgroundHalo: Cathy Morningside gets a Background Crown.
* BadassInANiceSuit: The FBI agents.
* BabyTalk: When Eric (justifiably) balks at helping Gracie finish her self-defense demonstration, Gracie uses baby talk to gather support and encouragement from the crowd, and to shame him into helping her finish. He regrets it later (see below).
* BeautifulAllAlong: Gracie.
* BeautyContest: The central premise.
* BelligerentSexualTension: Hart and Matthews, ''big time.'' The more refreshing part is that the sexual tension is clearly present ''before'' she gets the makeover, which keeps him from being a SatelliteLoveInterest.
* BetrayalByInaction: As Gracie frantically tries to plead her case to her superior, she is chewed out and dismissed while her partner stands there silently, never saying a word in her defense. Afterwards, she lashes out at him, who snaps, "Don't look at me like I betrayed you or something". To which she responds, "No, betrayal implies actually doing something. You just stood there."
* BigEater: Gracie, which is part of why joining the pageant is agony for her. Donuts and pastries are replaced with carrots and celery.
* BitchInSheepsClothing: Kathy Morningside is portrayed as antagonistic towards Gracie and defensive when it comes to feminists putting down the Miss United States pageant, but overall she seems to genuinely care for the contestants, what they represent, and how the pageant--- Errr, "Scholarship Program" can benefit the girls. [[spoiler:Turns out she's actually a bitter, malicious psychopath who wants to blow up this year's Miss United States winner with a rigged crown as retaliation for getting fired by the tv network.]]
* BrainlessBeauty: Gracie starts the film thinking all beauty-conscious women are this. She's later proven wrong.
* BrickJoke: During the pageant when Gracie is trying to get at Cheryl, she punches Mary Jo in the face. In the finale, Mary Jo can be seen wearing a band-aid on her nose.
* CaliforniaDoubling: The first movie was entirely filmed in Texas, despite starting in New York (to make for a more convincing street, Austin had brown plastic bags of fake trash and fake NYC taxi cabs). The second is mostly on location, except for a New York scene which clearly has a UsefulNotes/LasVegas hotel in the background.
* TheCastShowoff: An in-movie example. When Gracie is stuck without a talent before the show, she decides to improv and show her FBI combat training instead.
** Also, the actresses are actually doing the talent tricks -- except for Cheryl with the fire batons. Heather Burns was willing to learn how to twirl, but not to expose herself to flames (a professional replaces her).
* ChekhovsGun: Gracie's water glass trick. Also the "hits" to her enemies' instep and nose (in the prologue), and solar plexus and groin. SING!
* CloudCuckoolander: Cheryl.
* ConcertClimax: The end.
* CuteClumsyGirl: Gracie, even ''before'' they put her in something other than sneakers.
* DeadpanSnarker: Gracie ''and'' Eric ''and'' Victor.
* DemotedToExtra: Understandably, most of the pageant contestants. The only ones that were actually in the movie for any decent amount of time (aside from Gracie as New Jersey) were Rhode Island, California, New York, Texas, and Hawaii.
* DirtyHarriet: Variant.
-->'''Victor Melling:''' They've got their Southern Belles, their Midwestern farmer's daughters, spunky Western cowgirls, and I have... Dirty Harriet.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: Gracie's desperate to save Cheryl by yanking the rigged crown off her head makes her look like an insanely jealous losing contestant.
* DramaticallyMissingThePoint: Victor does this when Gracie tries to point out that the crown is rigged:
-->'''Gracie:''' It's the crown!\\
'''Victor:''' Yes, it is! You can taste it now, can't you?\\
[''Gracie is taken to the stage, wildly pointing at her head while she protests about the crown, while Victor cheers her on'']\\
'''Victor:''' Yes, yes. You ''wear'' the crown, ''be'' the crown, you ''are'' the crown!
* DrunkOnMilk: One of the first scenes shows Gracie at a bar ordering "a pint" and the bartender asking if she's sure. He hands her a pint of Ben & Jerry's ice cream.
-->'''Eric:''' You're starting early today.\\
'''Gracie:''' Yeah, I figure I'm gonna get chip-faced.
* EmbarrassingNickname: When Eric creates her cover ID, he gives her the name "Gracie Lou Freebush," a name she made fun of earlier in the movie and that she absolutely '''loathes.'''
* ExtendedDisarming: Gracie can hide an amazing number of weapons (and donuts) in her pageant gown.
-->'''Victor:''' What? No armored car?
-->'''Gracie:''' That would be in my other dress.
* {{Fanservice}}: In a movie whose general premise requires casting several dozen of the most gorgeous women you can find? Where most scenes take place backstage where the girls are only half dressed in silk robes? Where several scenes are a literal parade of women in swimsuits? [[SarcasmMode You're kidding!]]
** WordOfGod says that the scene with Benjamin Bratt in the film is also strictly MrFanservice.
* FreudianSlip: After one of the losing contestants in the pageant suddenly comes out as being a lesbian as she walks off the stage, Stan Fields accidentally makes one.
-->"And we'll be right back with our five final lesbians. --''Interviews''!"
* FunWithAcronyms: Gracie demonstrates a well-known self-defense mnemonic:
-->'''Gracie Hart:''' (on defending against an attack from the rear) Just remember to SING: [[PunctuatedPounding Solar plexus!]] [[AgonyOfTheFeet Instep!]] [[OffhandBackhand Nose!]] [[GroinAttack Groin!]]
--> And this meets LuckyTranslation and GettingCrapPastTheRadar in some Spanish versions: ¡ '''P'''lexo solar! ¡'''E'''mpeine! ¡'''N'''ariz! ¡'''E'''ntrepierna!
* GladIThoughtOfIt: Eric pretty much steals all of Grace's ideas on how to handle the Miss America case, then congratulates himself for having thought of it.
* GroinAttack: The "G" in Gracie's impromptu "SING" self-defense course.
* GunsInChurch:
--> '''Gracie''': He had a gun!\\
'''Cathy''': This is Texas. Everybody has a gun. My ''florist'' has a gun!
* HelpMistakenForAttack: Gracie's trying to get the crown off Cheryl's head to save her life, but everyone assumes she's an insanely jealous loser trying to steal it.
* HiddenDepths: The Miss America finalists, probably intentionally. Far from the air-headed bimbos Grace originally thought they'd be, they're revealed to all be very intelligent, accomplished women in their own right. For instance, Miss New York plays the clarinet, Miss California is a music major who sings opera, Miss Texas does charity work for children, Miss Rhode Island is a science major with a minor in particle physics, etc.
* HiddenWire: Gracie wears one of these, unless she's just had an argument with someone at the FBI.
* HotterAndSexier: With an extra pun for a bonus. When he see Cheryl's baton twirling at the preliminaries at the Alamo, she does a very innocent routine to patriotic music with a very conservative outfit. Later on, after Gracie encourages her to be more confident in herself, she does a much sexier routine to hip-hop music (with batons on fire, hence the "hotter.")
* ImprobableAge: Miss USA contestants have to be between 18 and 27. Sandra Bullock was 35 when the first film was made (an in-movie case of DawsonCasting, since Gracie mentions in an off-hand remark that she's at least thirty, but the FBI are still trying to pass her off as being in her twenties).
** While they tried to explain Bullock's age as her being the best they can find, a few other girls were too old as well. Heather Burns (Rhode Island) and Deirdre Quinn (Texas) were all right, being 25 and 27, respectively, but Wendy Raquel Robinson (California) and Melissa De Sousa (New York) were both 33.
* InnocentlyInsensitive: Gracie makes fun of baton twirling as a talent, right before asking Cheryl what her talent is. Cue "kicked puppy" look from Cheryl, and "I could just kick myself" look from Gracie.
* InsistentTerminology: Ms. Morningside would like you to know that the Miss America contest is ''not'' a beauty pageant; it is a ''scholarship program.''
* InspirationallyDisadvantaged: Mentioned as the one time one of Victor's girls didn't win the crown during his heyday:
--> "The year we lost, the winner was a deaf-mute. You can't beat that."
* IronicEcho: "It is not a beauty pageant -- it is a ''scholarship program''!"\\
[''rolls eyes''] Yeah, yeah.\\
''[[MeaningfulEcho Yes!]]''
* IronicName: Gracie is usually a nickname of "Grace," which is ironic since she's not really gracious (''def.'' "Courteous, kind, and pleasant") or graceful (''def.'' "Having or showing grace or elegance")
* LikeADaughterToMe: Vic says that if he had a daughter, she'd be like Gracie. Of course, he backpedals and says that's the reason why he doesn't have children.
* LovableAlphaBitch: Miss Texas certainly wants to win and looks shocked and furious when she doesn't -- but she still helps Gracie out and is nice to the other girls. She also tries to intervene in what she thinks are Gracie's crazed attempts at taking the crown from Cheryl, not realizing that Gracie is trying to save Cheryl's life.
* MeaningfulEcho: "I really do want World Peace".
* AMinorKidroduction: We're introduced to Gracie when she's reading a Literature/NancyDrew book in elementary school. She defends a boy she has a crush on from bullies, but when he calls her a loser for making it look like he needs a girl to protect him, she punches him in the face and calls him a wimp when he runs away.
* NamesTheSame: [[Series/BoyMeetsWorld Eric Matthews]]
* NeverHeardThatOneBefore: A sleazy pageant assistant is reading off the names of the contestants. When he gets to Miss Washington, he comments, "Nice apples". Which Washington State is known for, but he's clearly referring to either her breasts or buttocks. Her reaction makes it quite clear this isn't the first time she's heard something like this.
--> '''Miss Washington''': Original. You come up with that all by yourself?
* NeverMyFault: [[spoiler:At the end, when Morningside's murder attempt is exposed and she is arrested by Gracie, she blames everyone and everything but herself.]]
-->[[spoiler:'''Morningside:''' [''to Gracie''] You think you saved something tonight, but all you did was to destroy the dream of young women all over this country!]]\\
[[spoiler:'''Gracie:''' What, you think that their dream is to get blown up?]]
* NoGuyWantsAnAmazon: Grace was harshly rejected by a boy she liked when she was a little girl for this reason
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Most of the girls come across as the stereotypes Gracie associates with pageants, but for the most part this is because the girls are all very well-trained in saying exactly the right things to get them the points needed to win, even if makes them seem brainless. [[spoiler:Cheryl, who spends most of the film appearing to be a sweet and gentle DumbBlonde, turns out to be a nuclear physicist.]]
* OneOfTheBoys: Grace Hart, before joining the Miss America pageant.
-->'''Grace:''' Is this like a woman thing?\\
-->'''Eric:''' Don't kid yourself. No one thinks of you that way.
* PainfulBodyWaxing
* PantyShot: Of a sort. Gracie wears frilly bloomers as part of her "talent show" outfit.
* PowerWalk: In both films. The first is the reveal, where we see SheCleansUpNicely. In the sequel, Gracie and her partner/bodyguard have one when they put on their dark suits.
* PrecisionFStrike: A loose wire getting reconnected resulted in Gracie getting a painful blast of feedback in her ear. When she screams out "'''Jesus Christ!'''" the other contestants are horrified. She eventually turns it around by saying she forgot to pray before eating breakfast.
* ProtagonistTitle: Gracie is the one awarded with Ms. Congeniality in the end.
* RapeAsBackstory: [[spoiler: Cheryl was sexually assaulted by one of her college professors and never told anyone until she drunkenly confides in Gracie during a night out.]] Played with in that [[spoiler:[[GenkiGirl Cheryl]]]] doesn't exhibit any of the usual angst issues associated with the trope.
* RealWomenDontWearDresses: Deconstructed. Grace spends the first half of the film thinking all women should downplay their femininity and be tough like men in order to be intelligent and respected, and assumes all beauty-conscious women are shallow airheads. During her time undercover in Miss America, she comes to see that most of the girls are incredibly intelligent, talented, well-rounded people with dreams and hobbies outside of looking pretty. (The pageant is, after all, a scholarship program, and many of the women use beauty as a means to gain that scholarship to move onto brighter tides.) She also comes to realize it's okay for ''her'' to wear dresses occasionally too, since doing so doesn't automatically subtract from her own toughness or savvy.
* RecitationHandclasp: As part of Miss California's opera stuff.
* RightBehindMe: Eric's boss doesn't appreciate being Photoshopped into a bikini. Eric's boss is male.
-->'''Eric Matthews:''' We were just looking for someone to go undercover at the Pageant, sir.
-->'''[=McDonald=]:''' And I'm the best we got. That doesn't inspire much confidence.
* RunningGag: "You think I'm goooorgeous, you want to kissss me..."
* SecondPlaceIsForWinners: Gracie in the end of the film.
* SerialKillingsSpecificTarget: This is the BigBad's plan to get away with murdering the winner of the "Miss United States" beauty pageant: they set the whole thing up to look like it was committed by a notorious serial killer calling themselves "The Citizen". Backfires when "The Citizen" is captured by the FBI partway through the film, leaving the villains with nobody to pin their crime on.
* ShareTheMalePain: The ''entire audience'' groans and folds up a little when Eric gets hit with the G of Gracie's self-defense course.
** Gender flipped when two male agents wince sympathetically after hearing about Gracie's bikini wax.
* SheCleansUpNicely: Gracie.
* ShoutOut: [[Film/MidnightCowboy "I'm glidin' here!"]]
* SlapSlapKiss: Gracie and Matthews, quite literally. They engage in physical combat twice.
* SnarkToSnarkCombat: Gracie and Victor, as best summed up by this:
-->'''Victor''': In place of friends and relationships, you have sarcasm and a gun!\\
'''Gracie''': Oh, ''I'' have sarcasm? When every word that comes out of your mouth is dripping with disdain?
* SpoilerTitle: Gee, I wonder who would win the ''Miss Congeniality'' special award?
* SuddenlySexuality: When Miss New York is eliminated, she calls out to her girlfriend in the audience and tells all the lesbians watching that if she can do it, so can they. Grace claps for her, and the producers wonder if they can say "lesbian" on air.
** With another layer added, since when he asks if they can say "lesbian," his female assistant director manning the controls simply snarks, "You got a problem with that?"
** Paired with LipstickLesbian as both Miss New York and her girlfriend are gorgeous. (Fun Fact: The actress playing New York's girlfriend was supposed to be the original Miss New Jersey. A scene where Gracie and Eric confront her about her appearance in ''[[ParallelPornTitles Arma-get-it-on]]'' was cut; the director felt bad about it, and offered the role of New York's girlfriend to her as an apology.)
** Also paired with StraightGay, as this declaration is the only indication that we get that she's homosexual.
* TallDarkAndSnarky: Eric, to match with [[DeadpanSnarker Gracie]].
* {{Tomboy}}: Gracie.
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Gracie and ''every'' other contestant, except probably for Miss New York.
* TriumphantReprise: Tom Jones's "She's a Lady" first plays as Gracie arrives with the pageant girls (in a bit of irony). It gets played again at the end when [[spoiler: Gracie gets the Miss Congeniality award]].
* TrueLoveIsExceptional: Eric is implied to mostly date younger [[BrainlessBeauty brainless beauties]], yet ends up with the older, cynical, {{tomboy}} Gracie.
* UngratefulBastard: As a kid, Gracie defended a boy she liked from bullies, only to be insulted by him because he didn't want everyone to think he needed a girl to stand up for him. She responded by punching him in the nose.
* UnresolvedSexualTension: Gracie and Matthews.
* WeaponizedHeadgear: Cathy Morningside has rigged the prize crown with explosive and intents to detonate it immediately after it's handed over to the winner.
* WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway: In the movie, Miss Rhode Island's baton twirling talent is treated this way. But during the talent scene at the Alamo, one girl's talent seemed to be ''making balloon animals.''
* YouGetMeCoffee: Mocked.
* YourHeadAsplode: The Miss United States crown was rigged to blow off the head of whoever was crowned the winner of the contest. Fortunately, Gracie Hart finds this out and gets it off Miss Rhode Island's head before it detonates.

!!The second movie contains examples of:
* {{Chickification}}: A major plot point. A result of her BecomingTheMask after the first movie. Even after the real story comes out and Gracie becomes the face of the FBI, the girly-girl persona sticks.
* ExtremelyShortTimespan: While not an ImmediateSequel per se, the movie still takes place during Cheryl's one year reign as Miss United States.
* HostageVideo: The one of Cheryl and Stan began the entire plot.
* GenderBlenderName: Sam(antha) Fuller.
* GenderScoff: Samantha subverts the usual "Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em." phrase:
-->'''Sam''': Men! Can't live with them, can't--no, actually that's about it.
* ITakeOffenseToThatLastOne: Inverted:
-->'''Sam Fuller:''' You didn't just call me sister, because I don't recall seeing a skinny, white-ass girl growing up at the table. \\
'''Gracie Hart:''' Okay, first of all... thank you for calling me skinny.
* OutOfCharacterAlert:
-->'''Gracie Hart:''' Cheryl would never refer to her ass as her booty! Cheryl would never refer to her ass, period! She calls it her "popo"!
* PlayingGertrude: Eileen Brennan, who plays Stan Fields' mom, is actually a year ''younger'' than William Shatner.
* PowerWalk: Gracie and Sam get one after reverting to their grey FBI suits.
* RecursiveCrossdressing: Sam Fuller's head almost explodes at the prospect of going undercover as a DragQueen:
-->'''Sam Fuller:''' I am not going out there as a woman pretending to be a man pretending to be Tina Turner. I can't afford therapy on my salary.
* RecycledSoundtrack: During [[spoiler: the scene where Sam and Gracie rescue Cheryl and Stan]], you can hear "Building the Crate" and "The Chickens Are Revolting" from ''WesternAnimation/ChickenRun'' in the background.
** In fact, this movie is one of the all-time great cases of RecycledSoundtrack, as the film is ''packed'' with [[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0385307/soundtrack cues from other movies]] (including two other Sandra Bullock movies, ''Film/TwoWeeksNotice'' and '''the first''' ''Miss Congeniality''). This does have some original music (by John Van Tongeren, Christophe Beck and Music/RandyEdelman), but apparently not much...
* DarthWiki/RuinedForever: Gracie's undercover career after the epic fame she earned saving the Miss United States Pageant.
* SassyBlackWoman: Sam Fuller.
* ShowgirlSkirt
* TwentyMinutesIntoThePast: As noted above, the movie is set during the year after the original movie -- despite being made actually five years later.
* VivaLasVegas