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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 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. A third novel, subtitled Mad About the Boy was published in October 2013.


Tropes used in the various Bridget Jones media:

  • 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.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: This happens to Rebecca Gillies.
  • 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.
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • Big Breast Pride: The films has Bridget flaunting this area of her body, and they are certainly the opposite of small.
  • 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.
  • Camera Abuse: Courtesy of Bridget's bottom. Never work with animals, kids, or 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.
  • 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.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Shazzer.
    • Catch Phrase: Lampshaded by Bridget as her narration introduces her "Shazza - likes to say 'fuck'".
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Oh so many characters: Bridget, Daniel, Mark, Colin Jones, Shazzer, Jude, and Tom; Natasha attempts to fulfill this trope.
  • 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.
  • Dynamic Entry: Julio.
  • Empty Fridge Empty Life: After the breakup with Daniel, there is only iced-up cheese in Bridget's fridge.
  • 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 loose 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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")
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • 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).
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  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sleeping with the Boss: This is a significant driver for the (that and the Belligerent Sexual Tension with the other love interest).
  • 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.
  • 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 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."
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 but her birth date around 1970 rather than 1972 (then 32 years old).
  • 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."

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alternative title(s): Bridget Jones Diary; Bridget Jones; Bridget Jones Diary
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