Literature: Bridget Jones

aka: Bridget Jones Diary
Domestic and Romantic Comedy series by British author Helen Fielding.

Bridget Jones's 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 Sexy Soaked Shirt 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 book, 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. A third novel, subtitled Mad About the Boy was published in October 2013.


Tropes used in the various Bridget Jones media:

  • Absolute Cleavage: The films usually have Bridget tastefully showing off her plump breasts, but there are a few outfits that show off her cleavage, her Playboy Bunny costume being a prominent example.
  • Adaptation Name Change: Mark's mother was named Elaine in the books, the films changed it to Geraldine.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: A huge example with Rebecca Gillies. The books portrayed her as a jealous thirty-something Rich Bitch that went out of her way to press Bridget's buttons and she genuinely tried to seduce Mark. Come the film adaptations and she is merely the good-natured and brainy daughter of a wealthy man who has a close professional relationship with Mark with no carnal interest in him.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: Happens to a few characters when the books were adapted to film.
  • 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.
    • Pam Jones, Bridge's mom. The first book mentions Pam being identified with red hair and the third book mentions that Woney had dark hair when she was younger; the films have them played by blonde actresses Gemma Jones and Dolly Wells.
    • There was even some illustrated editions of the 1st two books (after the movies) where there was a brunette Bridget and Shazzer (compare to blonde film portrayals) and light haired Magda and Jude (redhead and brunette in film respectively)
  • Adaptational Sexuality: This happens to Rebecca Gillies.
    • The movies have removed any trace of Uncle Geoffrey being a closeted gay man.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: "Jaundiced Julian", and "Tangerine-tinted buffoon."
  • Aerith and Bob: Lampshaded in the third book when Bridget wonders why her children, Mabel and Billy, go to school with classmates who are all called Cosmata, Thelonius, Atticus, etc.
    • The Sloane Rangers Bridget and her friend Magda run into fall under this trope, the men have normal names like "Jeremy" and "Michael" whereas the women sometimes have silly, babyish names like "Pufti", "Mufti", and "Woney" (for Fiona).
  • Age-Gap Algebra: Lampshaded and joked about in the 1st film where Mark and Bridget talked about the paddling pool incident at Mark's 8th birthday party and Bridget was wondering if it really happened. Mark confirmed it did and said he was 8 and she was 4. Bridget remarks that "it's quite pervy" only for him to smile in agreement.
    • The 3rd book reveals a 6 year age gap between Mark (born in 1956) and Bridget (born in 1962).
  • Alone Among the Couples:
    • 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.
  • Alpha Bitch:
    • A mid-thirties version in Rebecca.
    • Natasha in the first film. She's a good-looking lawyer and quite condescending towards Bridget, and always picks on her when she has a chance.
    • Rebecca's character was re-tooled and replaced with Janey Osbourne in the second film.
  • Always Someone Better: In the second film, Bridget feels very insecure next to Mark's brainy, leggy, comely assistant Rebecca; it gets worse when Rebecca answers the final question of a trivia game correctly after Bridget was acing it.
  • 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. Not to mention her introducing Bridget to Mark in the first film - "You used to play naked in his paddling pool".
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: An odd example for a romantic and situation comedy. At the Ruby Wedding, Natasha implies she begged her Mark's father not to mention the possible engagement and move to New York (Mark looked surprised that he was "engaged" to her), something Mark would feel bound by obligation to stick by. Thankfully Bridget voices her opinion.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Mark in the second movie. And later a hurried and embarrassed Bridget when she heads to a meeting he's in and confesses how much she always loved him in front of his colleagues.
    I said "I love you" for God Sakes!
  • As Himself:
    • 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.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: "...and I think you should rethink the length of your sideburns."
  • Baby Talk: Bridget's daughter Mabel speaks this way despite being five years old.
  • Be Yourself: Mark likes Bridget "just as she is".
  • Betty and Veronica:
    • 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.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Bridget is a very kind and amusing woman, yet as her diary and inner thoughts can attest to, she is capable of making scathing comebacks to people that offend her and a Deadpan Snarker.
    • The movies show her not hesitating to tell Daniel off.
    • The 3rd book has Magda snark to Bridget about the state Cosmo and Woney are in: Cosmo is retiring, (not mentioned) they've let themselves go, their son went off to college, Woney is dissatisfied with Cosmo's leering at other women, and they have nothing to do except stare at one another at their designer, retro dinner table when they're not bugging Bridget about being single.
  • Big Breast Pride: The films has Bridget flaunting this area of her body, and they are certainly the opposite of small.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Bridget and Mark make this trope in the two movies.
  • Big "NO!": Bridget 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.
  • Brainy Brunette: In the movies, Investment Banker Jude and Law Assistant Rebecca Gillies are played respectively by the dark-haired Shirley Henderson and Jacinda Barrett.
    • Also in film canon, the conniving and bitchy Lara and Natasha (played by Embeth Davidtz), are a nastier version of this trope.
    • Cunning Daniel, Top Notch Barrister and Type A Mark, and Witty Tom (all played by the dark-haired Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, and James Callis) are male versions of this trope.
  • Break the Cutie: Bridget after her break up with Daniel gets very down in the dumps, but soon gets better when she decides to choose vodka, Chaka Khan, and finding a job in journalism; again when she and Mark break up (temporarily) and after Mark died (according to the 3rd book).
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Patchouli. She's works a secretarial job where Bridget works (doesn't apply to the films). She's something of a Valley Girl, yet she's shown to be very competent and keeps Bridget on any important info that Richard Finch might've fudged up in imparting. She also holds Bridget in high regard.
  • Butt Monkey: Poor Bridget. Nothing ever goes right for her.
  • Camera Abuse: Courtesy of Bridget's bottom. Never work with fireman's poles.
  • Canon Discontinuity:
    • 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!"
  • The Casanova: Daniel Cleaver.
  • Celebrity Crush: Bridget, Jude and Shazzer all have a crush on Colin Firth in the books.
  • 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.
  • Character Title: Fill "Bridget Jones" in the blank; _____'s Diary, _______: The Edge of Reason, and __________: Mad About The Boy.
  • 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.
  • Cigarette of Anxiety: While Bridget smokes cigarettes recreationally, she does have them when she's stressed out and her father comments in the 2nd film that he finds a good cig to be relieving.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Shazzer.
    • Catch Phrase: Lampshaded by Bridget as her narration introduces her "Shazza - likes to say 'fuck'".
  • Cool Loser: Further explained under This Loser Is You. Bridget doesn't have much luck in maintaining romantic attachments with non "fuckwit" guys and is really hard on herself due to people nagging her about her single status and a culture that reveres cool, collected, thin couture-clad slyphs, she is also a great friend who is a pleasure at parties.
  • 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.
  • Condescending Compassion: Bridget and her friends remark on the attitudes towards Singletons held by mostly upper-middle class married peers of theirs who have earned the endearing moniker of "Smug Marrieds". Shazzer retorts that at least they aren't in unhappy marriages just for the sake of being married and that the single life is just another way of living.
  • Cosmetic Catastrophe: Happens to Bridget in the 2nd novel and film with a bad haircut and hastily prepared makeup in a dark car.
  • Creepy Uncle: Geoffrey (the Honorary Uncle). He always touches Bridget's butt etc.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Bridget
  • Daddy's Girl: Bridget is this to Colin, this causes some angst for her mother who talks about their "grown-up club of two" and how they always talk about silly mummy.
  • Dare to Be Badass: Part of Bridget's Character Development, not so much badass as just taking a chance for a more fulfilling career and for love.
  • Daydream Surprise: Mostly with Bridget dreaming up a scathing speech to someone who's a thorn in her side. At one point in the 1st film, Bridget is talking to Mark at the book launch party when her supervisor Perpetua demands to be introduced. Bridget introduces them to each other with thoughtful details: "Mark's a prematurely middle-aged prick with a cruel raced ex-wife. Perpetua is a fat-arse old bag who spends her time bossing me around." Then the voiceover says, "Maybe not," and we cut back to reality, where Bridget gives a much more ordinary introduction.
    • There are a few more in the original script where Bridget dreams of mouthing off to the nosy Smug Married Woney that she'd rather be single and/or kill herself than be pregnant and married to a dull man like Cosmo like her. And another where Bridget dreams of telling Mark that marrying Natasha out of obligation and to avoid loneliness is a big mistake.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Oh so many characters: Bridget, Daniel, Mark, Colin Jones, Shazzer, Jude, and Tom; Natasha attempts to fulfill this trope.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: A third book occurrence.
    • Woney note  gets her own mid-life makeover due to Bridget's own speech about how middle-age is not the end of the world for women anymore and at Bridget's younger boyfriend, along with Talitha's advice about fashion and botox.
    • Daniel, prior to Mark's death and the birth of Billy and Mabels' births, reconciled with Mark and Bridget and became a good friend and Godfather to the kids.
    • Nicolette, after a breakdown after being called out for her Education Mama tendencies, is offered some companionship by Bridget and seems to be less prickly.
    • Bridget's "perfect" babysitter, Chloe, after being dumped by a boyfriend for being "too perfect" receives a lot of counseling from Bridget and Daniel where they remind her she's too good for that guy.
  • Dirty Old Man:
    • Uncle Geoffrey tries to grab Bridget's arse whenever he has a chance, and he asks inappropriate questions.
    • Mr. Tits Pervert... we mean... Fitzherbert. Often stares at Bridget's tits, as his nickname indicates.
    • A deleted scene/ scene shown in subtitles reveals Mark's father to be a subdued version, in regards to his prospective future daughter-in-law's curves
    Mr. Darcy: Well-built girl! I like a woman with an arse you can park a bike in and balance a pint of beer on."
  • Double Standard: Dealt with frequently.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: From the movie: "I will not be defeated by a bad man and an American stick insect. Instead, I choose vodka."
  • Dumb Blonde: Film Universe. Avoided with the honey blonde and witty journalist Shazzer. Bridget gets this treatment in a scene from the second film and while she isn't a Rhodes Scholar, she does possess normal intelligence along with wit and an appreciation for literature and pop culture.
  • Dying Alone: What Bridget fears, the 3rd book adds she's afraid of dying mateless with two defenseless children.
  • Dynamic Entry: Julio.
  • Education Mama: A prominent example in the third book. One of Bridget's fellow school mothers, Nicolette, is very concerned and gung-ho about her sons being ready for the business world to the point that the boys are nervous and insecure whenever they fail/not perfectly succeed at their school work or their extracurricular activities, thankfully she learns to relax a little with the help of Bridget's friendship.
  • Empty Fridge, Empty Life: After the breakup with Daniel, there is only iced-up cheese in Bridget's fridge.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: In the second movie, Rebecca Gillies has a crush on Bridget.
  • Executive Meddling: In-Universe. Bridget writes an adaptation of Hedda Gabler set in modern London. The film company that options the rights decides to set it aboard a yacht in 1970s Hawaii and have Hedda survive at the end.
  • Fanservice:
    • The boys fighting in the fountain. Sexy Soaked Shirt scene that appeals to ladies.
    • Bridget in a Bunny suit.
    • 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 lose the fresh tuna, Bridget is obliged to step aside and let Darcy save the dinner.
  • Flamboyant Gay: Bridget's friend Tom who used to record a hit song and manages to get laid on his fifteen minutes of fame.
  • Flanderization: In the first movie, Cleaver's a womaniser who shows some remorse for his ways and seems to genuinely love Bridget in spite of his promiscuous nature. In the sequel he just comes across as a narcissistic Jerkass who only wants to get into Bridget's pants and literally could not care less about anyone but himself.
  • Friend to All Children: Wallacker in the 3rd book mentioned that he chose his current job, at the elementary school Bridget's kids attend, due to the fact he loves kids and wants to make some sort of difference.
  • 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.
  • Geek Physiques: Lampshaded. Daniel, in the novel, states to Bridget that Mark was a really skinny awkward teen nerd with terrible fashion sense; In the 2nd book, Bridget recalls herself as being very thin at 15 (her dieting started a year later) yet with glasses and braces, which scare off a mugger at the time. Between the both of them, they don't resemble their teen selves.
  • Girls Need Role Models: and boy have they found one!
  • Glamorous Single Mother: Played with in the 3rd book, with Bridget attempting to put together a look that resembles the "red carpet girls" but the difficulty of pulling off the trope is demonstrated and her feelings about Mark make the dating part of the trope very difficult.
  • Global Ignorance: In the 2nd film, Daniel and Bridget's demeaning boss Richard Finch make fun of Bridget for thinking Iran is the wife of David Bowie and not naming which country is below Germany.
  • Good Parents: The 3rd book shows Bridget as a clumsy, yet loving and fun Mom.
  • Grew a Spine: What Bridget does throughout the 1st film also called back, in one of the original scripts where towards the Ruby Wedding she chooses to wear a stylish black dress instead of the pre-Thatcher era outfit her mother picked out for her; this happens to Mark on a lesser extent in the film, pretty much he learns to act on his own wants.
  • Happily Married: The 3rd book reveals that Bridget and Mark were this trope before he died. Later she gets together with Wallacker and raises their kids together under one roof in the epilogue and she speaks very contentedly of it.
  • Hair Contrast Duo: The films have a Blonde Bridget with the dark haired Mark and Daniel. She tends to be more light-hearted than her moodier boyfriend/fiancee and is more monogamous than her ex Daniel.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Bridget is sweet and kind-hearted along with being played by blonde film Ingenue Renee Zellweger in the films.
  • 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.
  • Henpecked Husband: Bridget's father, to a certain extent.
  • Holiday in Cambodia: to Thailand, in the second book/film, complete with the drug charges. Played for drama, allowing Bridget to Take A Level In Badass as she works to get herself free.
  • Hollywood Pudgy: Bridget, according to the other characters. Invoked directly by Daniel:
    "I keep telling you nobody wants legs like a stick insect. They want a bottom they can park a bike in and balance a pint of beer on."
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Bridget, at least in the movies. She sings off key at a Christmas office party.
  • Homemade Sweater From Hell: Part of Mark's poor first impression. The novel also mentions bumblebee socks.
  • Honor Before Reason: Mark and Bridget. This can perhaps be a trait they have in common with one another.
    • Bridget
      • Reasonable: Being able to say "No" to some of her Mother's outrageous requests and telling people that she doesn't like it when they bother her about her marital status.
      • Honorable: Just going along with her Mother's demands and grinning and bearing it when people needle her about her love life to avoid hurting their feelings.
    • Mark
      Bridget: Are you or are you not sleeping with Rebecca Gillies?
      Mark: I won't dignify that with an answer.
  • Hot Scoop: Bridget becomes this trope when she is hired at "Sit Up Britain" and was even lampshaded when she is promoted as the Distaff Counterpart to the "Smooth Guide."
  • 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")
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Played two ways. One of the reasons why Rebecca in the second film confesses how much she is infatuated with Bridget, who was convinced Rebecca and Mark were "still together" and wished them all the best.
  • Ice Queen: Bridget attempts this frequently, with mixed success, due to her warm personality.
    • A deleted scene from the film has Bridget's friends advising her on maintaining a cool demeanor to reel Daniel in, since it worked for one of them.
  • Iconic Item: Bridget's control top panties for one, there is also her the ever-present miniskirts and (especially in the book) her floaty dresses but the films have her wearing a silver heart necklace especially in scenes involving her and Mark.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: When Bridget screws up her cooking, she takes a swig from a bottle of some alcohol. She tends to do it quite often, and sometimes she needs more alcohol than just one shot.
  • Incompatible Orientation: The second film has the straight Giles with a small crush on Rebecca, has been adapted into a lesbian, who has a crush on the heterosexual Bridget.
  • Informed Flaw: Many reviewers of the films have slapped Bridget with the Hollywood Pudgy stick and referred to her as "plump", "frumpy", "dowdy", and possessing chubby hands. Bridget isn't a total fashionista, yet dresses like an ordinary person and is merely curvy with non-chubby hands.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Bridget, as played by Renee Zellweger in the films. She has very blue eyes to match her sweet nature and she's the protagonist.
  • Insecure Love Interest: Bridget
    Bridget: I read that you should never go out with someone if you can think of three reasons why you shouldn't.
    Mark: And can you think of three?
    Bridget: Yes.
    Mark: Which are?
  • Ironic Echo: Mark Darcy is (taps nose significantly) still available!
    Bridget: He's also (taps nose) still deranged!
  • It's a Costume Party, I Swear: The "Tarts and Vicars" party. The hosts decided to call the scheme off, but forget to tell several people, Bridget and her father among them.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Invoked for Bridget's 2012 diary entries, where Bridget had fell into this trope between the death of Mark and her current life as a Mrs. Robinson type; she also lampshades the trope when describing the appearance of Woney as letting her "lovely dark hair go gray" and being struck with a bad case of middle-age spread, she like Bridget gets her appearance back in shape further on.
    • It was even lampshaded after Bridget got back to the weight she complained about in the last two books, with Daniel marveling at how he was afraid she wouldn't look like that again back when she was heavier.
  • Jerkass: Both Richards, Jude's boyfriend later ex-husband and Bridget's boss; Daniel's temporary fiancee Lara and Mark's partner Natasha.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: What Mark eventually is more or less revealed as, Daniel has his moments, but really Bridget's demanding supervisor Perpetua (who stands up for her when she tells Daniel she's quit).
  • Ladykiller in Love: Subverted with Daniel. He does love Bridget, but that doesn't sway his wandering eye (and pants) and he is more of a Romantic False Lead for her.
  • Lethal Chef: The highlight of Bridget's cooking is blue soup "made of" melted plastic string.
  • Likes Older Women:
    • Bridget got this in her 30s, when Mark's teenage cousin attempts to flirt and dance with her, with a Raging Stiffie involved.
    • Roxster, Bridget's boyfriend in the third book. He says he likes they have a voice of their own and more to say.
  • Light Girl, Dark Boy: The movies have a blonde Bridget with the darker haired Mark and Daniel.
  • Lipstick and Load Montage:
    • 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-top panty 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.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: In the second film it's the very feminine Rebecca Gillies who harbours a crush on Bridget.
  • London Town: The kind of world with a lot of white-collar professionals, journalists, publicists, bankers, barristers, and Smug Married couples.
  • Loser Gets the Girl: Subverted after the Cockfight, Bridget rushes to Daniel's side and scolds Mark for being just as bad as the "fuckwits" she has to deal with only to dash any idea Daniel may have of getting back together with her.
  • Mama's Boy: Many viewers and a critic have seen Mark Darcy as this, though his mother serves more as a background player and isn't manipulative or anyway unpleasant.
    Cara Ann Lane: He is the epitome of a sensitive new age man, handsomely packaged in a nice suit. However, the catch to this characterization is his tendency to be manipulated and controlled by the women in his life. While exhibiting his sensitivity and awareness of the needs of others, he is hesitant to stand up for his own desires. His mother and his law partner/girlfriend both make most of the decisions in his life. The film suggests his ex-wife, who had an affair with Daniel (one of the factors leading to this fight), exercised similar control over Darcy.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Played with and somewhat deconstructed with the slightly flighty Bridget, the films and books are from her POV, yet she does get the brooding Mark (and later Wallacker) to see things from a brighter and fresher view and is different from all the polished,snotty women and conservative politics they've been exposed to; deconstructed in that she refutes a "you complete me" speech from Daniel in the 1st film.
  • Mean Boss: A few examples.
    • The 1st film and book have Perpetua, who is said to be some arrogant woman that is in a more "slightly senior" position than Bridget and is said to be a thorn in her side; she did tell Daniel off for his treatment of Bridget.
    • Richard Finch is a straight example, sometimes behaving lewdly around Bridget when he isn't belittling her.
  • Mid-Battle Tea Break: After crashing a birthday party, Darcy and Cleaver politely stop fighting for a moment to sing along with "Happy Birthday."
  • Monochrome Casting: It can be safe to say that it's easier to find a needle in a haystack than it is to find a main or secondary character that isn't of Anglo-Saxon descent, the 1st book's British Edition mentioned an Aunt of Mark looking a lot like Shakira Caine (changed to Faye Dunaway in the American edition), but aside from Pam's boyfriends and Bridget's cellmates, that's about it.
  • 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.
  • My Beloved Smother: Pam Jones, can get very critical of her daughter (who guiltily tries to avoid telling her things), to the point that her husband onetime asked her leave Bridget alone when it comes to the colors she wears, the guys she dates, and her life in general.
    • The 3rd book has Nicollette, who is a poised yet cold Foil to Bridget, is very demanding of her young (and insecure) sons putting 200% into their school and sports; she thankfully loosens up but not before a digital breakdown sometime after being called out for her parental skills.
  • 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).
  • Neutral Female: The first Cock Fight between Mark and Daniel puts Bridget in this role, justified since she and her friends were very puzzled with the situation and didn't know exactly who to root for.
  • New Year's Resolution: Bridget Jones's Diary starts with Bridget listing her resolutions. At the end, she makes an assessment of her year, and notes that she kept one of her resolutions (which she rates as a very good result).
  • Nice Girl: Bridget is a very kind, loving, friendly person who cares about her family and friends; even comforting the babysitter she previously viewed as the paragon of perfection after said girl gets dumped.
  • No Periods, Period: Brought up time to time, especially in the second movie when Bridget gets a pregnancy scare after noting she and Mark had 8 uninterrupted weeks having coitus together.
  • Nobody Over 50 Is Gay:
    • Averted by the closeted Uncle Geoffrey.
    • In the 3rd book, it's averted with Tom. He was in his early thirties in the beginning of the story.
  • Non-Idle Rich: There are many wealthy characters in the books, yet plenty of them do work. Most notably Mark, who works as a Human Rights lawyer; Wallacker learns this about Bridget in the 3rd book when she reveals she writes and doesn't spend a lot of her time at the beauty salon despite what he thinks.
    • The 2nd film has Rebecca Gillies, a personal assistant, whose father owns "half of Australia".
  • Not Like Other Girls: Mark says something of the sort to Bridget when he's asking her not for dinner in the novel.
    Mark: Last Christmas, I thought if my mother said the words 'Bridget Jones' just once more I would go to the Sunday People and accuse her of abusing me as a child with a bicycle pump. Then when I met you… and I was wearing that ridiculous diamond-patterned jumper that Una had bought me for Christmas…. Bridget, all the other girls I know are so lacquered over. I don't know anyone else who would fasten a bunny tail to their pants or…
    Mark: I'm not anymore, actually. Just dinner? Sometime?
    Bridget: Okay.
  • 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 (1997), 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.
  • Old Maid: What Bridget perceives herself to be.
  • The One Guy: Tom, in Bridget's group of friends.
  • One Head Taller: Film versions certainly applies to Bridget (Renee Zellweger is 5'4") with Daniel (Hugh Grant at 5'11") and Mark (a 6'2" Colin Firth), but especially with the latter.
  • One-Hit Wonder: In-Universe example. James Callis plays one here. Tom 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."
  • Only Child Syndrome: Mark and Bridget in the films don't appear to have any siblings, whereas the novels had Bridget's older brother Jamie and a mention of Mark's brother Peter getting married.
  • Only Sane Woman: Bridget. She may get scatter-brained and frustrated, but one can chalk it up to all the behavior of Smug Marrieds, her co-worker's behavior, Daniel, her Mom, Una and Geoffrey, her pals (sometimes they get a turn), Richard Finch, the School Run Moms, sometimes other pals of her parents, fuckwit guys, Rebecca (in the book), and the countless dramas caused by them.
    • Mark Darcy can may well figure into this trope. These two are match made in heaven.
  • Pair the Spares: Giles & Rebecca (loosely, since Giles and Bridget were never interested in each other romantically.)
  • Parental Hypocrisy: A rare parent to adult child example. In this deleted scene available on DVD in Europe, Pam (who had been briefly separated from her husband and was sleeping with another man the previous year) scolds Bridget about having pre-marital sex with Mark.
  • Perverse Sexual Lust: Bridget harbors this for the Colin-Firth version of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy (as does Jude) (and Shazzer). Notably, she frequently refers to the actor as "Mr. Darcy" instead of by his real name.
  • Proper Tights with a Skirt: Bridget frequently wears tights with her short skirts.
  • 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.
  • Racist Grandma: The first books (and film) have Pam with the racist part pat down with her views of the Japanese as a "cruel race" at least when regarding Mark's first wife, considers homosexuality to be laziness, and she nicknames an African Tribal man "Wellington" since she can't pronounce his real name. The 3rd book already has her as a Grandmother.
  • Real Men Cook: Mark Darcy saves Bridget in the kitchen when she ruins dinner she has been cooking for her friends.
  • Real Women Have Curves: Bridget the feminine, curvy, warm, and blonde Girl Next Door, is contrasted with the thinner, angular, and comparatively masculine Alpha Bitch Natasha in the first film.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Subverted and Deconstructed in both Mark and Bridget's declaration of love, they each admit the other's faults but noted that despite all that, they're great the way they are.
  • Red Pill, Blue Pill: Played with in that for Mark, the Betty Bridget is serves as the red pill who is more honest, passionate, loving, and without pretense compared to the safe option of Natasha (the Veronica) who cares more about nabbing him as an ideal Trophy husband and for social climbing.
  • Refuge in Audacity: An out-of-universe example. While preparing for the first film, Renee Zellweger worked undercover at a publishing house. She wasn't recognised, despite keeping a framed photo of fiancee Jim Carey on her desk. None of her co-workers questioned this, worried about offending her.
  • 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.
  • Rich Bitch: Plenty to go around and all as Bridget's Foil.
    • The 1st book and film with Natasha, a successful lawyer who sneers at Bridget (who serves as a Romantic threat)
    • The 2nd book has Rebecca, who is very wealthy along with persuasive and self-centered. She picks at Bridget's self-image whenever she can.
    • The 3rd book has Nicollette Martinez, one of the posh Education Mamas Bridget runs into at the school-run, she thankfully learns to loosen up.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: Many of the Sloane Rangers and perhaps the older upper-middle class adults in Bridget and Marks' parents' peer group. For example, they ask inappropriate questions about dating status and do many questionable things that reflect poorly on their judgement.
  • Romantic False Lead: Julio, Bridget's mum's lover. In the second book, Rebecca.
    • Daniel counts as this (except in the columns) in the tradition of Pride and Prejudice, Natasha merely sets herself up as the lead in the film/novel she appears in, alas for her she fails.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Mark and Bridget, when they start going out.
  • Selective Obliviousness: Bridget Jones's mother. Having just got out of rehab for addiction to excitement:
    "Well, I was supposed to say, 'I will not allow overconfidence to blind me to reality' and, 'Today I will recognize my faults as well as my assets.' I mean, it was completely ridiculous, darling."
  • Setting Update: Jane Austen Recycled In Space!!
  • Sexy Soaked Shirt: The first movie had a scene where Daniel was fooling around while he and Bridget were rowing their individual boats in a pond, he ends up falling into the water and the camera soon focuses on Daniel and the soaked shirt clinging to his body.
  • Shared Universe: Apparently with Sue Townsend's Adrian Mole novels: in Adrian Mole: The Cappucino Years, Bridget (in a Lawyer-Friendly Cameo) is seen having dinner in the restaurant where Adrian works.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Bridget grew up from a little girl who played in her underwear in Mark's paddling pool at his birthday party into an adorable, shapely woman chasing after him in a sweater, blouse, and her panties. Mark once used to be that little boy who was bemused/annoyed at that little girl and became...Colin Firth.
  • She's Got Legs: Two film examples.
    • Rebecca Gillies in the second film is noted for having "legs up to here" *armpit area*, not that she shows them off a lot but it's fairly obvious with her tall and thin frame.
    • Bridget wears miniskirts and dresses that show off her "climber's legs", with the 1st film having a close up on her slim ankles and calves on her shapely frame after stepping off the scale.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Subverted, as Bridget never delivers this sort of speech to Woney (who is bugging her on why Bridget is still single with mock concern) for the sake of not hurting the other woman's feelings.
    Bridget: Because if I had to cook Cosmo’s dinner then get into the same bed as him just once, let alone every night, I’d tear off my own head and eat it.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: One of Bridget's resolutions is to find "a nice, sensible boyfriend" and not to date any dysfunctional men, this doesn't stop her from dating Daniel yet she ends up with Mark (the Good Man in question).
  • Sleeping with the Boss: This is a significant driver for the (that and the Belligerent Sexual Tension with the other love interest).
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Cosmo, one of the Smug Marrieds, Bridget comments in the 3rd book that he (albeit of a bland appearance and a boorish manner) believes that anyone would be lucky to be with him.
  • Snake Oil Salesman: In the role of Wickham, Julio, who sleeps with Bridget's mom. He works in TV commercials.
  • Snow Means Love:
    • At the end of the first film, half-dressed Bridget runs after Mark who seemingly left her when it's freezing. They're reunined, he hugs her and they kiss, it starts snowing and he covers her with his coat.
    • In the second movie, there's a brief Call Back when Bridget mentions the above when she wants to get together again. She says that a moment they share might be romantic even without snowing.
  • 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.
  • Spoiled Sweet: The books mention Jude as coming from a titled family and she earns an ample income that allows her vacations and designer clothing. She is a very devoted and well-meaning friend, also willing to lend Bridget her clothing for certain occasions.
  • Stylistic Suck: The Leaves in His Hair, Bridget's effort to rewrite Hedda Gabler as the story of a woman in modern-day London. Could have been good, actually, but executive meddling ruins it all and instead of gloomy London, it's set on a yacht.
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome: Mark and Daniel, as played by Hugh Grant and Colin Firth.
  • Take a Third Option: Bridget has two options. She can accept a permanent state of spinsterhood and... eventually be eaten by Alsatians, or NOT. Bridget chooses vodka. And Chaka Khan.
  • Terse Talker: appears v. freq. in the text. It is a diary, after all.
  • This Loser Is You: Loveless yet Loving Bridget stuck at boring job though with enough overtones of Cool Loser that fans don't complain. She later lands a job on TV.
  • Title Drop: one of the chapters in The Edge Of Reason is entitled "Persuasion."
  • Titled After the Song: The 3rd book's title references the song "Mad About The Boy" (Dinah Washington cover), which Bridget even dances to in one scene.
  • True Blue Femininity: In the films, Bridget wears a lot of blue clothing, especially tops, and is a gentle hearted woman. Here,there, aqui, another,and more blue shown in both of the films.
  • Tsundere: Mark Darcy, funnily enough. Though Bridget defrosts him over the story's course.
  • Uncomfortable Elevator Moment: Slighty in the film with Daniel, Bridget appears calm and collected at first but then feels Daniel's hand on her butt, when they get off they flirt a little.
  • Unfortunate Names: One can only wonder at how irritated Mark can be that he shares the same surname as a famous literary heartthrob and Bridget's initials are BJ...
  • Uptight Loves Wild: Bridget isn't so much wild as she's clumsy and goofy, but the "gherkin up his arse" Mark falls in love with her and her messier ways, it goes to show that Mark ends up dropping all plans he set up or have been made for him (like an engagement that just sprang upon him in public) just to be able to start things afresh for Bridget.
  • Valley Girl: Patchouli, the assistant in the first two books. She is in her early twenties and behaves in a ditzy and frivolous manner. The trope is subverted because she is more competent and nicer than her and Bridget's boss, Richard Finch.
  • The Vicar: Rumoured (but never proven) to be gay, due to his flamboyant taste in surplices.
  • Viewer-Friendly Interface: when Daniel and Bridget are instant-messaging in the movie.
  • Weight Woe:
    • 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.
  • Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: Like their Pride and Prejudice counterparts, Mark was at first critical of Bridget and she even moreso of him, yet start realizing they really...like like each other.
  • Whole Plot Reference:
    • 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.
  • Wimp Fight: Daniel and Mark are not very skilled at fighting, so their fights are always of the comic relief kind.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: As with Aerith and Bob many members of the Upper and Upper-Middle classes Bridget meets either have odd names or name their children do. The 1st book has the example of a friend of Perpetua named "Piggy".
    • The assistant Patchouli where Bridget works.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: In the 2004 sequel, Bridget has an Imagine Spot where she sees her grave inscribed as "Bridget Jones: Spinster. 1972-2050"; later Bridget notes that she is 34 years old, which would put her birth date around 1970 rather than 1972 (then 32 years old).
  • Wrong Guy First: In the manner of Pride and Prejudice with Lizzie/Wickham/Darcy. Bridget dates Daniel, whom she is convinced is the one despite the fact he embodies traits that she told herself to maintain a safe distance from; then later ends up with Mark, who she thought was the wrong guy at first.
  • You Know What You Did: Bridget to Mark at the summer party they attended due to Daniel convincing Bridget that Mark has sex with his fiancee and she heard Mark badmouthing him.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Mark's first marriage ended because his wife cheated on him, Pam briefly separates from Colin and dates another man, the first two books have Magda's husband Jeremy cheat on her, and then there is the Bridget-Mark-Rebecca debacle....
  • 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."
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Bridget is known for wearing short skirts (often of the A-line variety in the films) with mostly stockings/pantyhose and boots, leers like Daniel don't fail to notice.

Alternative Title(s):

Bridget Jones Diary