Domestic and Romantic Comedy series by British author Helen Fielding.Bridget Jones' Diary began as a newspaper column in The Independent in 1995, and ran on-and-off until 2006. Its earlier years were eventually collected / rewritten into two novels, one self-titled and the other subtitled The Edge Of Reason. Both were eventually made into films starring Renee Zellweger in the title role. They focus primarily on Bridget's existence as a single, unwed thirty-something who is somewhat prone to exaggeration. She perceives herself as overweight, over-aged, dependent on self-help books, alcohol and cigarettes, and generally hopeless, the type who must fight "fears of dying alone and being found three weeks later half-eaten by an Alsatian." Nonetheless, she attempts to persevere as a self-assured, satisfied "Singleton" despite being increasingly surrounded by "Smug Marrieds" who seem to have turned This Loser Is You into an artform.Naturally, this is all Played for Laughs, but the character's unexpected popularity made it clear that a lot of people could relate.Both novels are based loosely on Jane Austen works: the first on Pride and Prejudice, and the second on Persuasion. The former's influence is very direct, with Bridget as Elizabeth, publisher Daniel Cleaver as Wickham and barrister (for us Yanks, that's "lawyer") Mark Darcy as, get this, Mr. Darcy. Mark is particularly influenced by Colin Firth's portrayal of the role in the BBC's '95 film adaptation, particularly his Wet Sari Scene which Bridget, Shazzer and Jude frequently replay on tape. This created all-new levels of fangirl-swooning when Firth agreed to reprise(?) his role as Darcy for the ''Bridget Jones' films. (It also created all-new levels of Celebrity Paradox for the second film, in which Bridget, the character, conducts a newspaper interview with Colin Firth, the actor.) Meanwhile, an actor friend of Fielding's, Hugh Grant, was cast as Cleaver.A third Bridget Jones film is currently in development, adapted from the storyline in the 2005-2006 columns, where Bridget finds herself pregnant after sleeping with Daniel and Mark in quick succession and is uncertain as to who the father is. A third novel, subtitled Mad About the Boy was published in October 2013.
Tropes used in the various Bridget Jones media:
Actor Allusion: Firth vs. Darcy. Also Bridget's boss, when she gets a news reporter job was played by Neil Pearson, who's portrayal is exactly the same as his role of Dave in Drop the Dead Donkey.
Adaptation Dye-Job: In the movies, Bridget's portrayed by blonde Renee Zellweger, although in the first book she commented about men preferring blondes in a way that indicates she is not blonde in book canon.
The only thing worse than a smug married couple is... lots of smug married couples: Hugo and Jane, Cosmo and pregnant Woney, Alistair and Henrietta, Julia and Michael, Joanne and Paul, and Natasha Glenville dating Mark Darcy.
Even when Bridget is a widow, her friends and acquaintances still act this way towards her, and ask when she's going to get married again.
Always V Sexy: In the first book, Bridget lived in an apartment block with a very beautiful woman named Vanessa. At one point, this trope makes Bridget assume the un-addressed Valentine card in the hallway must be for Vanessa; but is horribly embarrassed when Vanessa opens it and it's Daniel Cleaver's Valentine for Bridget.
Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: a major subplot of the first book is Bridget's mum going on a midlife crisis, which only exacerbates her already-outrageous personality.
Several renowned writers in the first film appear on the launch of a Pemberley book.
Bridget: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the launch of Kafka's Motorbike, The Greatest Book of Our Time! [beat] Obviously except for your books, Mr. Rushdie, which are also very good. And Lord Archer, yours aren't bad either."
In the second book, Bridget interviews Colin Firth. Fielding actually interviewed Firth, and put his answers into the book.
Mark Darcy and Daniel Cleaver, respectively. It's not that clear to Bridget who the Betty was, because the Veronica is lying his pants off.
Bridget and Natasha/Rebecca Gillies (book version), respectively.
Big Damn Kiss: Bridget and Mark make this trope in the two movies.
Big "NO!": in the movie. When Bridget learns that Mark Darcy is moving to New York.
Birth-Death Juxtaposition: It's mentioned in Mad About the Boy that Bridget's father, while dying from lung cancer, lived just long enough to hold her newborn baby for the first time.
Blonde Republican Sex Kitten: Bridget is hired as the British equivalent of this when she leaves to work for Sit Up Britain. Though in 1997 at least she's actually a Labour voter. In 1997 nearly all floating voters were Labour at the time.
Camera Abuse: Courtesy of Bridget's bottom. Never work with animals, kids, or fireman's poles.
In the interim between the second and third books, Helen Fielding wrote a new version of the newspaper column; in which Bridget sleeps with both Daniel and Mark at the same time, gets pregnant, and gives birth to a son who turns out to be Daniel's. Mark offers to marry her and adopt the baby, but by the end of the story it appears she's content to be a single mother with support from Daniel. This is at odds with the third book, where Bridget married Mark and they had two children before he was killed in a landmine accident abroad. Her first-born is a son named Billy so technically, the events of the column could still have happened, but everything in the book suggests Billy was Mark's legitimate child.
In the third book, the movie canon seems to be woven into the book universe, with references to the the kissing scene between Bridget and Mark at the end of the 1st film and Bridget's old show being referred to as "Sit Up Britain" instead of the book canon "Good Afternoon!"
Celebrity Paradox: as mentioned, Bridget interviews Colin Firth in the second book. This was completely left out of the second movie for obvious reasons, though there is an improvised version available as an outtake on the DVD.
Christmas Carolers: Appear near the end of the film version. Bridget is single and spending Christmas Eve with her father. They are completely out of the mood and she just yells at them to bugger off.
Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: In the first novel, Bridget has an older brother, Jamie, who she speaks to on the phone occasionally and who usually attends family gatherings. He is never mentioned in the subsequent novels or either of the movies, though her mother does mention something about having raised "children" in the scene where she tells Bridget that she's left her father so it's possible that Bridget isn't her only child.
Composite Character: Bridget Jones' Mother takes on not only the role of Mrs. Bennet, but also... Elizabeth's sister Lydia. Meanwhile, this is inverted by dividing Wickham into two characters, one who romances Bridget and the other who absconds with Pam.
Drowning My Sorrows: From the movie: "I will not be defeated by a bad man and an American stick insect. Instead, I choose vodka."
Dyeing for Your Art: Zellweger gained something like two and a half stone (that's 30 pounds to Americans) for the role. (And then lost it again to do Chicago. And then put it back on again to do The Edge of Reason. Brave girl.)
Fake Brit: There was a certain amount of outcry when it was announced that Bridget, the "quintessential" modern Englishwoman (with an Irish first name and a Welsh second name), would be played by Texan Renee Zellweger. Then the film came out and some people started to think she was secretly from Britain. (She also received an Oscar nom for the film.)
The part where Bridget's butt is revealed in the fire-pole scene, as there was no mention of her bottom showing on tv in the novel.
Feminine Women Can Cook: Not this lady, that's for sure. After dyeing the soup blue, reducing the caperberry gravy to toxic waste, and managing to loose the fresh tuna, Bridget is obliged to step aside and let Darcy save the dinner.
Fun with Foreign Languages: In the second movie, where Bridget's in a drugstore and tries to explain through a combination of mime and faltering German that she needs a pregnancy test. She's unable to understand the reactions of those around her, who at first think she's saying she is pregnant, and then (as her "explanation" gets stranger) that there's something psychologically wrong with her.
Hello, Attorney!: Mark Darcy is a famous defense attorney who represents political refugees, and regarded as incredibly desirable by most women. Not his fiancée, alas.
Hypocritical Humor: Cleaver's brand of humor, particularly when discussing his latest book deal, the "Worst Book Ever Written" (while standing in front of one his ads proclaiming it "The Greatest Book Of Our Time")
Ice Queen: Bridget attempts this frequently, with mixed success.
In the montage where Bridget prepares to impress her boss Daniel at the upcoming book launch, she does the following: brushes up on conversational skills, studies up on current events, shave and wax, uses a body brush, rolls up her hair, picks out a sleek black dress and weighs the options between a control-toppanty and a thong before deciding on the former.
The second film has a montage that includes more Fashion Hurts and the inclusions of such tropes as Of Corset Hurts in addition of a haircut that has to be ravaged by the damage done by a deluded hairdresser.
Mid-Battle Tea Break: After crashing a birthday party, Darcy and Cleaver politely stop fighting for a moment to sing along with "Happy Birthday."
Mrs. Robinson: In the third book, Bridget has a relationship with a man twenty years her junior, causing them both to think of her along these lines. She's particularly torn when she finds out that his thirtieth birthday is the same day as her friend's sixtieth.
Mythology Gag: Colin Firth's famous lake scene is parodied in the first film. A drunk and boorish Cleaver falls face-first into the drink, then whoops it up with Bridget as an envious Darcy looks on (clearly wishing he could join in).
In the 3rd book, it's averted with Tom. However, he was in his early thirties in the beginning of the story.
Of Corsets Funny: Bridget's Iconic Item is her panty girdle that only serves to embarrass her, to the point where such garments are often referred to as "Bridget Jones Knickers" in the UK.
Old-Fashioned Rowboat Date: Two couples at the same time in the first movie. Mark and Natasha are dignified and discuss their case as they are both lawyers. Bridget and Daniel have more fun. She recites John Keats' poem "To the Autumn" (Daniel specifically forbade Keats and it's a misquote), and he tries to outshout her with a dirty limerick. He then parodies the iconic "I-am-King-of-the-World" scene from Titanic, and unsurprisingly falls into water. He doesn't want to be the only one wet and tries to swing the boat with Bridget as well. Prim and proper Natasha is horrified ("How childish!"), but Mark looks as if he envied them.
One-Hit Wonder: James Callis plays one here. He retired in the mid-eighties upon discovering that one hit song was quite enough to get laid for all time.
One Steve Limit: Averted with anyone named Peter (Bridget's ex boyfriend, Mark's brother in Hong Kong, or a doctor Bridget dates it a few columns) and again with two Rebeccas in the books (Bridget's bitchy acquaintance and her Bourgeois Bohemian neighbor), it's even lampshaded with the latter Rebecca being called "Rebecca the Neighbor."
Hugh Grant as a less-dashing, more lechery love interest, not to mention the Wrong Guy First. According to Fielding, this is much closer to his actual personality anyway.
Put on a Bus: In the third book, Shazzer has moved to California and is replaced by Bridget's glamorous new friend Talitha.
Race for Your Love: three times over the course of both movies; subverted twice, played straight once.
Remember the New Guy: In the 3rd book, Bridget notes new character Talitha as a colleague of hers back when she was a presenter on the news, whether she was around during the events of the 2nd book or met Bridget in between books is not known.
Soapbox Sadie: This is basically Shazzer, sans the teenage part and with a double helping of "strident feminism."
Sophisticated as Hell: What did the usually proper and eloquent barrister Mark Darcy say to Bridget when she gasped that "nice boys don't kiss like that"? He replies: "Oh yes they fucking do" and kisses her again.
Bridget constantly worries about her weight. And unless she's well below average height for a white Brit, the weights she writes down are within or only slightly over the 'healthy' range.
The third book has a subplot where Bridget has put on a substantial amount of weight (through a combination of "middle-aged spread" and having had two children in the last few years) and is treated at an obesity clinic but even then, if she is average height, her weight would put her as slightly short of the medical benchmark for obesity. This was even lampshaded when the nurse that recommended the clinic to her told her that it had nothing to do with Bridget being obese, but it's an effective way for her to meet her healthy weight of 130-140 pounds.
To Pride and Prejudice in the first book and the movie. Most characters do not correspond one-on-one; there is no Bingley and Bridget has no sisters, only an older brother who is already settled. The main thrust is the Love Triangle and the different appeals that Bridget's two suitors have on her.
Persuasion is a little closer to The Edge Of Reason, with Bridget as Anne, Mark as Captain Wentworth, Rebecca as Louisa, Giles Benwick as Captain Benwick, and the Mr. Elliot subplot essentially done away with.
Your Television Hates You: Some seriously depressive TV shows are on the night when Bridget finds out that Daniel is cheating on her. At first a woman tells a man that it's her last chance to have a child, a brutal murder scene from Fatal Attraction, and finally, there is a documentary about wild lions and their mating rituals. Poor Bridget!
"The male penetrates the female and leaves. Coitus is brief and perfunctory."