Headscratchers / 13 Going on 30

  • So the magic dust actually works. How is this not common knowledge?
    • Who, aside from Jenna, would have known it works?
    • It's magic dust; only kids would've really tried it. And who would've believed them?
    • Maybe they forget everything once they go back to their original ages.
    • Wait...the magic dust actually worked? I thought Jenna just fell asleep and had a dream.

  • This is less of a Headscratcher for the film itself, and more for the page on This Very Wiki for it. Namely, the Ambition Is Evil trope. As far as I could see, nothing is really shown to indicate that Jenna was bad for wanting to be rich and successful. If anything, it seemed to take the view of "you can be rich and successful, but you don't have to be a Jerk Ass to do so". Seems kinda presumptuous, and nothing in the film really supports it.
    • Agreeing and elaborating, as Jenna's successful in her career as a Jerk Ass but becomes even more successful when she stops being a Jerk Ass— her secretary starts actually liking her, her editor is thrilled with the work she does for the magazine, and she gets everyone to actually enjoy themselves at the magazine party. The only thing that screws her over here is that Lucy uses a deal she made as a Jerk Ass against her, which she never would have done if Jenna hadn't rubbed her the wrong way as a nicer person.
      • Disagreeing here. In the original timeline, before Jenna "aged up," she was screwing over Poise. Remember, she was feeding the rival magazine, Sparkle, with Poise's ideas, until Lucy found out and screwed Jenna, taking the job for herself. Thus taking down Poise and putting them all out of work, for the sake of being Editor in Chief of the other magazine. On top of this, she was a real bitch everyone hated, treated her assistant like crap, didn't speak to her parents, and she was sleeping with a married man (and cheating on her boyfriend). Not a nice person, and a Lady Drunk besides—probably to deal with her own awfulness.
    I hope you choke on your own bile, you pretentious, conniving snake.
  • How did Jenna go from wanting to be popular and desperately trying and failing to fit in to the most popular girl in school in such a short time? Was Matt really holding her back there?
    • Thank you! It doesn't make sense at all. They mention she became "Basically (the six chicks) leader" but how she became popular is never even mentioned. Bugged the hell outta me.
    • I was always under the impression that it wasn't Matt himself holding her back, but rather that he reminded her of who she was. He kept her grounded and kind, but when she became convinced that he'd ruined her life, she abandoned him and the sweetness he kept in her. With him gone and no longer keeping her as a person, she was left with nothing but ambition- she had no loyalty to herself at all, meaning she would do whatever was necessary to be popular.
  • If Jenna and Matt stopped being friends in the seventh grade (in the original timeline), why is Jenna's mom at Matt's wedding?
    • It's not uncommon for childhood friends' parents to be friends with each other as well. Jenna and Matt may have stopped being friends, but Jenna's mom could very well have still been a friend of Matt's family (both mothers could have been friends as well); it does seem a bit odd, but it's a logical explanation.
    • Jenna and Matt were neighbors in 1987, so it's likely their parents were friends or acquaintances.
  • Again, a Headscratcher from This Very Wiki, but why is Jenna considered a Manic Pixie Dream Girl? For starters, she's the protagonist, with an arc... and feelings... and introspection... all that jazz, where the trope typically necessitates a male protagonist. Secondly, Matt is happy before they get back in touch, and even refuses to break off the wedding at the end, so she's not a "dream girl" for anyone in the story. Thirdly, she's not "manic" for the sake of it, she's "manic" because she's, psychologically speaking, still a teenager. Don't know why the trope is listed, to be honest, because I didn't get that at all.
  • Did the wishing dust work and she actually mentally time traveled... or was the whole thing a dream the 13 year old Jenna was having? There seems to be contradictory evidence for both
    • It seems a bit of a stretch that not only did she get everything she thought she wanted, including working for her favorite magazine... but she actually ended working with the alpha bitch from her old school?
    • If the experience was in fact genuine shouldn't there have been a few more moments of her being a fish out of temporal water? Yes we have a quite a few moments of her not understanding adult things because she is mentally 13... but what about the fact she's basically missed out on the last seventeen years? Shouldn't there have been some scenes of her expressing disbelief at or trying to catch herself up on current events?
    • Heavy suspension of disbelief is required to accept the fact that a thirteen year old could survive even a few days an a prestigious fashion magazine, let alone come up with a redesign idea that would actually fly
    • However there are a few things that don't make any sense if the experience wasn't genuine. The fact she didn't recognize Tom Tom at first. That both she and Matty do in fact grow up to look exactly like she 'dreamed' they would. That she's put in adult situations quite a few times that a innocent thirteen year old just wouldn't come up with.
    • Really the film makes the most sense if you consider her experience genuine... but only in an 'Its a Wonderful Life' kind of way