"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of good fortune must be in want of a wife." —Opening line
The second novel by the Genre Savvy, snarkyJane Austen — a Take That at Love at First Sight.Elizabeth Bennet is the second of the five daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, upper-middle-class gentry who live in Longbourn, a small estate in rural England at the time of the Napoleonic Wars. Her father is a cynical, snarky recluse, her mother is a fatuous, rather ill-bred airhead obsessed with her daughters' futures, and her elder sister Jane is a sweet-natured beauty. Her younger sisters, by contrast, are uniformly "silly": pretentious, grumpy Mary; giggly, easily-led Kitty; and uncontrollable, foolish Lydia.The story follows the Bennets and their attempts to marry for love, despite being in a position from which this was severely impractical. While Jane quickly falls for the well-off, good-natured newcomer Mr. Bingleynote who is exactly that, Elizabeth must decide on her feelings for the well-connected but unctuousvicar Mr. Collinsnote she can't stand the man, and makes no secret of it, the dashing, penniless, and self-deprecating foot soldier Mr. Wickhamnote who isn't quite so dashing after all, and Bingley's friend, Mr. Darcy, who to all appearances is a cold-blooded and arrogant borenote ...or not. Meanwhile, Lydia causes trouble for everyone, and Elizabeth and Darcy learn a lesson or two about first impressions and making assumptions.Jane Austen's most famous novel, possessing one of the best-known opening lines of all time, is a sharp, witty, insightful and straightforward romance, both mindful and mocking of sexual politics as they relate to social mores. It has been adapted into several movies and TV series; the 1940 adaptation stars Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier, the 1995 BBC serial will forever see generations of women swoon over Colin Firth as the most romantic man alive whether he particularly wants them to or not, and the 2005 movie saw Keira Knightley star as Elizabeth and Matthew Macfayden as Darcy. In 2009, Marvel Illustrated produced a Comic Book Adaptation, script by Nancy Butler, pencils by Hugo Petrus, and covers by Sonny Liew.As a famous public domain novel, it was subjected to nerd-ification in 2009 with the publishing of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Many modern writers have picked up where Austen left off, trying their hand at publishing continuation stories about Darcy and Elizabeth as well as some of the minor characters; one notable example is the 2011 unofficial sequel Death Comes To Pemberley by P.D. James.More recently, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, a modernized adaptation (headed in part by Hank Green), began airing on YouTube in early 2012 in the form of a video blog. In this version there are three Bennet sisters (Jane, Lizzie and Lydia) and Charlotte's role is greatly expanded.By the way, the title refers to the two qualities that keep Darcy and Elizabeth from getting together. "Pride" is usually associated with Darcy (his initial snobbery toward those considered beneath him in social rank) and "prejudice" with Elizabeth (her judgments of Darcy and Wickham based solely on first impressions and hearsay, without really knowing either of them); however, they each display both qualities. Now you know.
It is a trope universally acknowledged:
Affably Evil: Wickham is terribly charming, even after everyone knows what a scumbag he is.
Aloof Big Brother: Inverted by the fact that Kitty and Lydia are the two youngest sisters.
Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Mrs. Bennet, so very much. Her unsubtle attempts to set her daughters up with prospective husbands - especially in the case of Jane and Mr. Bingley, acting as if they are already engaged after they've just met - is mortifying to her two older daughters. The younger ones are just as embarrassing as her. The consequences of this behaviour are more serious than usual because Jane's embarrassing family is one of the major reasons why Darcy persuaded Mr. Bingley not to marry Jane.
Babies Ever After: In the letter where Mr. Collins warns Mr. Bennet that Lady Catherine disapproves of Elizabeth marrying Darcy, he mentions that Charlotte is pregnant.
Belligerent Sexual Tension: Often played completely straight in adaptations which condense the story because of time constraints. In the original novel, though, it's only from Darcy's end; Elizabeth actually dislikes Darcy strongly for a while and only begins to warm to him halfway through the novel, after which point their interaction is much less belligerent.
Beta Couple: Jane Bennet and Mr. Bingley, to the readers. To the characters within the story, it's Lizzy and Darcy. Played with, in fact, in a way strongly reminiscent of Much Ado About Nothing, with Jane/Bingley resembling Claudio/Hero (fall in love quickly, sweet, rather simple-minded, driven apart and together again by forces beyond their control or understanding) and Lizzie/Darcy resembling Beatrice/Benedick (mentors to nominal alpha couple, initially dislike each other but grow to love each other, more control over their fates.)
The marriages of all three of the Bennet sisters work like this; a running Jane Austen theme is that love is a combination of esteem, friendship, and like-mindedness. (Although in the case of Lydia, they have the like-mindedness but not necessarily the mutual esteem or friendship, as it's clear that she is much more into Wickham than he is into her.)
Subverted with Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, and with Charlotte and Mr. Collins. Of course, Charlotte keeps Mr. Collins ignorant of this fact; he even comments to Elizabeth that he and Charlotte "are of but one mind and one way of thinking. We seem to have been designed for each other."
Blue Blood: The de Bourghs. Though all of the important characters are from land-owning families and thus considered "gentry," only one is titled. Sir William's title is not of the hereditary sort, so of the cast only Lady Catherine is an actual aristocrat. (Her father was an earl, and her brother - Colonel Fitzwilliam's father - now holds the title.)
Bookworm: Mr. Bennet regards reading as one of his principal enjoyments, and enjoys sharing it with his daughter Elizabeth. Mary also reads voraciously in order to increase her accomplishment, but isn't always that great at comprehension.
Lydia. She's selfish, completely self-involved, materialistic, and cares absolutely nothing about the people who are hurt because of her, the trouble she causes for her family, or the consequences of her stupid actions. What's worse is that she won't even acknowledge that her actions were stupid or had damaging effects, and she's helped along in this by Mrs. Bennet who has a similar personality type.
Mary and Kitty as well, to lesser extents. Mary is one because of her pompous moralizing and general self-involved attitude; she works too hard for accomplishments and praise because she's the least attractive of the five girls, and receives less attention than her prettier sisters. Kitty tends to follow in Lydia's footsteps and as such is a milder version of her. It's suggested that they both improve over time, though, unlike their younger sister. With Kitty, this redemption comes from the considerably-better influence of her two oldest sisters, once Lydia is out of the picture (and her parents strictly forbid Kitty to answer her invitations). With Mary, she becomes her mother's companion once her sisters are married off, so she's forced to socialize more; what's more, without her sisters as comparisons she's no longer reduced to "the plain daughter," which makes her feel better about herself. Word Of God outside of the novel notes that the improvements to their respective characters lead them to some good futures (see What Happened to the Mouse?, below).
Break the Haughty: Darcy, obviously. In one spectacular confrontation scene, Elizabeth does this to Lady Catherine as well. Although not overly haughty, Elizabeth's not immune; her own pride (specifically, in her ability to instantly judge someone based on first impressions - the prejudice of the novel's title) takes a denting over the course of the novel.
Character Development: Elizabeth becomes a more reliable narrator, as mentioned below. Mary becomes less gloomy and more confident near the end. Kitty steadily grows less like Lydia and more respectable and caring like her role models Jane and Lizzy.
Christmas Cake: The looming threat of Jane's future, and Charlotte Lucas.
Composite Character: Bingley's two sisters are frequently melded into one sister in adaptations.
Control Freak: There is only one way to do absolutely anything, and that is Lady Catherine de Bourgh's way... in her mind, at least. This leads to tension when she eventually meets Elizabeth Bennet, who isn't particularly inclined to let Lady Catherine or anyone bully her about.
Dead Guy Junior: An extremely subtle example of the trope. Lady Catherine's daughter's name is Anne, which was also the name of her sister, Darcy's mother. A slight aversion of the trope, however, since Lady Anne was still alive when her niece and namesake was born.
Deadpan Snarker: Elizabeth, who takes after her father in that regard ("For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?").
Double Standard: In Elizabeth's mind, Charlotte's agreeing to marry Mr. Collins in exchange for a comfortable home and a modicum of respectability represents "a betrayal of every better feeling". Wickham's decision to court the heiress Mary King despite the fact that he'd been uninterested in her before she inherited money, on the other hand, is simply a matter of pragmatism, although this could be seen as a way for Elizabeth to deal with the news - she was interested in him initially, and might now want to be seen to be calm and not allow herself to be upset. The narrator does call Elizabeth out on this,
The Dung Ages: The 2005 movie hewed more closely to this; also in that adaptation, Caroline invokes it when criticizing Elizabeth.
Did you see her hem? Six inches deep in mud. She looked positively medieval.
Elopement: Wickham convinces Georgiana Darcy into one, his main motive being her fortune of thirty thousand pounds. The plan falls apart when a guilt-ridden Georgiana confesses it to her brother, who then writes to Wickham to tell him that his sister is off limits. Later, Wickham actually does elope with Lydia Bennet, who is saved from being Defiled Forever by marrying him.
English Rose: Elizabeth's sister Jane is kind, polite, well-mannered and beautiful English country gentry. Jane is considered the most beautiful young lady in the neighbourhood. Her character is contrasted with Elizabeth's as sweeter, shyer, and equally sensible, but not as clever; her most notable trait is a desire to see only the good in others.
Executive Meddling: The reason why the title was changed and why it took over a decade to publish? Austen's publisher.
Bingley and Jane, despite how discreet they both are. The fact that everyone is talking about it is what prompts Darcy to intervene.
Averted with Darcy and Elizabeth. The Gardiners' understandable conclusions aside, not even Jane believes Lizzy when she first tells her they are engaged, and takes some convincing that Lizzy does love Darcy in truth. This is partly because everyone except the Gardiners was around when Darcy and Elizabeth first met and did nothing but bicker, whereas when the Gardiners finally meet Darcy, Elizabeth's feelings have considerably warmed to him and Darcy is making a conscious effort to present himself in a more humble and agreeable fashion, thus enabling them to see what everyone else couldn't.
Evil Matriarch: Lady Catherine is more or less trying to set herself up as this.
Expy: Wickham and Lady Catherine are strikingly similar to Willoughby and Mrs. Ferrars of Sense and Sensibility, and Jane and Bingley's relationship bears similarities to that of Edward and Elinor; in fact, half the trouble in P&P is caused by Darcy's mistaking Jane's level of affection for Bingley.
Giftedly Bad: As mentioned before, Mary's singing. Or Mary in general, really; she also fancies herself as extremely clever and profound, when her "insights" are usually cases of either stating the obvious and/or obnoxious, unnecessary moralizing that no one wants to hear. Allegedly, this actually qualifies as Self-Deprecating Humor on the part of the author - Mary is believed to have been a self-insert for Jane Austen.
Gilligan Cut: In the 1995 adaptation, Mr Bennet's refusal to receive the newly-married Lydia at Longbourn is followed immediately by her triumphant arrival.
The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry: Subverted with Jane and Elizabeth; while Jane is the "pretty" one (although not unintelligent) and Elizabeth is the "smart" one (although not unattractive), they're incredibly close, the best of friends and barely have a cross word in the entire novel. Played straighter with Lydia (filling the "pretty" role as she's shallow and boy-crazy) and Mary ("smart," although not nearly as smart as she thinks she is), who are often bickering and sniping at each other — the novel doesn't take sides, however, and points out that they're both as bad as each other.
Good-Looking Privates: A good portion of the plot is driven by the fact that girls go crazy over a man in a red coat. After the arrival of the militia, Kitty and Lydia lose interest in anything other than military men.
Gossip Evolution: Shortly before the first ball Bingley attends in his new neighborhood, he makes a brief visit to town. Someone guesses that he went there to collect friends to bring to the ball, and this rapidly turns into a rumor that he's going to bring twelve ladies and seven gentlemen. (He does bring some friends, but not nearly that many.)
Green-Eyed Monster: Caroline Bingley's venomous spite towards Elizabeth is based mainly on the fact that Elizabeth, unlike Caroline, managed to catch Darcy's eye.
Grounded Forever: After Lydia disgraces the family, Mr. Bennet tells Kitty she's Grounded Forever. He doesn't really mean it, but she believes him. Kitty protests that if she were to be allowed to go to Brighton, she would behave better. Her father is not convinced:
"You go to Brighton!—I would not trust you so near it as East-Bourne, for fifty pounds! No, Kitty, I have at last learnt to be cautious, and you will feel the effects of it. No officer is ever to enter my house again, nor even to pass through the village. Balls will be absolutely prohibited, unless you stand up with one of your sisters. And you are never to stir out of doors till you can prove that you have spent ten minutes of every day in a rational manner."
Kitty, who took all these threats in a serious light, began to cry.
"Well, well," said he, "do not make yourself unhappy. If you are a good girl for the next ten years, I will take you to a review at the end of them."
Have a Gay Old Time: Some of the language and dialogue used makes for amusing reading when looked at through modern eyes. Possibly the funniest is Mr. Bennet's remarks about Wickham, when he and Lydia have left to join his northern regiment.
Mr. Bennet: He's as fine a fellow as ever I saw. He simpers and smirks and makes love to us all.
Heir Club for Men: One of the major plot motivators in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice is the Bennets' lack of a male heir. Their family estate is entailed, which means that it is bound legally to be inherited by the next male relative in the family line. The girls really must marry well because once their father dies, their house goes to Mr Collins and at best, they could stay for some time as his guests.
Hidden Depths: There's a reason the original title was First Impressions.
Hollywood Costuming: Sometimes the Gorgeous Period Dress in adaptations was from the wrong period; in the 1940 adaptation, the Bennet girls are dressed in 1860s hoop skirts and are all wearing heavy cosmetic makeup in the 1940s style, complete with false eyelashes and dark shiny red lipstick. It may have been necessary, given that Elizabeth and Darcy were played in that adaptation by actors well into their forties. It should also be noted that in this instance, the costumes were recycled from Gone with the Wind - the studio was on the verge of bankruptcy and had to take as many shortcuts as they could. Likewise, heavier makeup was also common practice for black and white filming since it shows up better in the lack of color.
Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Darcy is described several times as tall and once as a "great, tall fellow" by Bingley, while Elizabeth is supposedly lithe from her walking and 15 year old Lydia and Georgianna are both taller than her.
Mrs. Bennet is quite fond of rewriting history to retroactively change her opinions and make it look like she's always right, particularly when it comes to prospective/not-so-prospective sons-in-law.
Similarly, Mr. Collins, when he declares his love for Elizabeth, says that as soon as he saw her he knew she was the only one for him - despite her being his second choice, after hearing that Jane was "soon to be engaged".
Note also how Wickham insists that he takes no pleasure in "revealing" Darcy's true character and is reluctant to do so, but takes every opportunity he can to spread his sad (and untrue) story.
Miss Bingley, who wants Darcy for herself, tears down Elizabeth every chance she gets; most notably, she claims that Elizabeth is one of those women who try to get men's approval by putting down other women.
I Love You Because I Can't Control You: A big part of Darcy's attraction to Elizabeth is the fact that, unlike Caroline Bingley and others of her ilk, Elizabeth sees no need to try and impress him just because he's single and wealthy.
Ill Girl: Anne de Bourgh is "of a sickly constitution," possibly a defence against her overbearing mother. Living with Lady Catherine would make anybody ill.
Info Drop: The only mention of Mr. Darcy's first name is at the end of one letter.
Innocent Inaccurate: Elizabeth, being the protagonist, is the reader's primary window into the world of the story, and we have limited opportunities to form opinions of characters other than through her. Thus, the reader has no choice but to share her good opinion of Wickham and her poor opinion of Darcy, until Darcy's letter reveals the truth to both her and the reader.
Inter-Class Romance: Lady Catherine throws a hissy fit over someone as (relatively) low-class as Elizabeth marrying Mr. Darcy. Elizabeth wins this by exposing Lady Catherine not as a snob, but an idiot: "He is a gentleman; I am a gentleman's daughter. Thus far, we are equal." This is absolutely true: Mr. Bennet is a landowner, an esquire, just like Darcy (he just owns less, or less profitable land); they are of exactly the same social class. That some modern readers fail to understand that 'class' in the 1790s was defined by where your money came from, not how much you made, is understandable; but for Lady Catherine to forget it (or at least expect Elizabeth not to realise it) makes her a complete ass as well as a bully.
I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Aside from his own feelings of responsibility for not speaking out against Mr. Wickham, the main reason Mr. Darcy goes to the trouble of making Wickham marry Lydia Bennet - which requires him to pay off Wickham's debts and buy a military commission for him even though he justifiably can't stand the man and previously refused to support him any further - is to make Elizabeth happy.
I Was Quite a Looker: Mrs. Bennet; apparently, in her youth, it was one of the main things going for her. And unfortunately for Mr. Bennet, he married her for shallow reasons such as that.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Darcy, initially. Lampshaded by Elizabeth, who complains, in comparing Darcy and Wickham, that one has all the goodness while the other has all the appearance of it. May be the Ur Example in the romance genre.
Mary and Kitty, to some extent. Kitty as more "jerk" and Mary as more "heart of gold."
Wickham — Austen's Happily Ever After endings always seem to be tempered by at least one of these, if you consider being married to Lydia and being all but exiled to Northern England as getting away scot-free...
Lydia also counts as one of these. She gets away with a lot of bad behaviour, including her elopement with Wickham, scot-free, and doesn't even realise that she's done anything wrong at all. There is, however, a slight subversion at the end, as actually being Lydia, and living with Wickham, with nothing in her head but a list of fashion items, is probably a punishment in itself. The fact that she is exiled far away enough that Jane and Elizabeth don't have to see much of her is such a victory for them that the fact that she doesn't get her comeuppance matters surprisingly little. It could be that Lydia is a lot like Peg Bundy and the Bundy Curse; she's actually part of Wickham's punishment, therefore it's not all that important if she herself gets punished.
Lady Catherine's plans for Mr. Darcy and her daughter.
Mr. Collins' plan to make a charitable gesture to the Bennets involves his marrying one of the Bennet sisters, though the exact relationship between them is unclear; the term "cousin," in the 18th century and earlier, was liberally applied to all manner of relatives, so the only thing certain is that he is a male-line relative of Mr. Bennet. (Considering the nature of the entail, which meant that after Mr. Bennet's death he would inherit their home and pretty nearly everything they owned, this actually was a fairly generous gesture. Unfortunately, he made it an intolerable one by being, as described elsewhere on this page, an insufferable plank.)
Last Name Basis: And rightfully so — Darcy's Christian name is mentioned twice in the book, and it's Fitzwilliam. (On an educational note, Fitzwilliam is his mother's maiden name. At the time, it was very common for eldest sons to be given their mother's maiden name as a first name, especially if their mother was a woman of some prominence - which Lady Anne was.)
There are countless sequels by various authors. Apparently a lot of readers didn't like never seeing Lizzy and Darcy consummate their relationship (though seeing as they got married, it's implied that they did). Hence, many of these sequels revolve around Lizzy and Darcy as newlyweds and all that implies.
Love Dodecahedron: Charlotte marries Mr. Collins, who proposed to Elizabeth, who is also being pursued by Darcy and Wickham, who also goes after Mary King and then Lydia, and Caroline is after Darcy, whom Lady Catherine ships with her daughter. At the same time, Mr. Collins briefly pursues Jane until he learns she's going to marry Mr. Bingley, so he then proposes to Elizabeth but finally ends up with Charlotte Lucas, whom Lady Lucas wanted to marry Mr. Bingley...
Love Epiphany: After struggling with her feelings for several months, Elizabeth has a very uncomfortable epiphany after Lydia running off with Mr. Wickham leaves her convinced that Mr. Darcy could not possibly ever want to marry her now:
"It was [...] exactly calculated to make her understand her own wishes; and never had she so honestly felt that she could have loved him, as now, when all love must be vain."
Love You and Everybody: The reason that Darcy comes to the (erroneous) conclusion that Jane is not particularly attached to Bingley is because she treats him with the same sweet, friendly openness that she shows to everyone.
The Musical: First Impressions, a 1959 Broadway flop starring Farley Granger as Darcy.
My Friends... and Zoidberg: After Elizabeth's firm (and repeated) rejection of his proposals, Mr. Collins wishes all of his cousins well, "not excepting my cousin Elizabeth." It's the first of many Take Thats he aims in her direction thereafter. Of course, because he's such an insufferable plank (and not least because of the whole repeated rejection thing), Lizzy has little difficulty shrugging them off.
Nice Guy: Mr. Bingley. Jane Bennet is a female example. Colonel Fitzwilliam also qualifies.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: If it weren't for Lady Catherine's concerted effort to prevent Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth from marrying, each of them might have gone on indefinitely convinced that there was no chance of the other returning their feelings.
Nice to the Waiter: One of the solid clues we get that Darcy is actually a decent man is that, when asked about him, his servants sing his praises. It seems while he has no qualms about being rude to those he considers a cut beneath him, noblesse obliege requires him to be courteous and considerate to those who are very much his social inferiors and dependent on him.
Not So Different: Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy have one thing in common - they can both be exceedingly stubborn.
No Woman's Land: The Bennet girls could not inherent their father's property, as it was entailed to the male line, and it is made very clear that if the Bennet girls do not marry well then their future will be fairly dim. We tend to romanticize the era, but make no mistake, it sucked being a woman during the Regency Period. Part of Collins' "generous" plan regarding the Bennets is that, as the father's closest remaining male relative, he will be the one to inherit their family property eventually, and marrying one of the Bennet daughters would allow the money to keep supporting the family. So in truth, it really is a fairly generous plan; unfortunately, he's so obnoxious that the prospect is unbearable for his chosen object.
Only Sane Man: Compared to their sisters, mother, father (to a lesser extent) and many of the other characters in the novel, both Elizabeth and Jane came across as calm, sensible and thoroughly down-to-earth young women with their heads firmly screwed on their shoulders. This does not, mean, however, that they're without their own respective issues; Elizabeth is inclined to be a bit blinded by her own cynical certainty that expecting the worst of people is the best way to approach things, while Jane is shy, good-natured and retiring almost to a fault.
Parental Favoritism: Lizzy is her father's favorite, Lydia is her mother's. This provides quite an insight into their respective characters. (The other three sisters: Jane is universally liked, Mary is universally ignored and Kitty is universally hushed.)
The Unfavorite: Likewise, Lizzy is the "least dear to [Mrs. Bennet] of all her children," and while Mr. Bennet is derogatory of his younger daughters in general, he's most so with Lydia.
Mrs. Bennet is unambiguously a shallow airhead who loads her daughters down with bad advice; but when Lizzy tries to call her out on her single-minded matchmaking, she delivers a riposte that reveals her very real fear that she and her daughters will be utterly destitute if they do not marry well.
Mr. Bennet copes with his ill-matched marriage by finding refuge in his books and sarcasm. He is indifferent to the fact that this exposes his wife to the ridicule of their children, and their family to the ridicule of the world. By the end of the novel, though, he accepts responsibility for his daughter's mistakes and furthermore, takes measures to instill some sense in his two unmarried daughters.
Platonic Life Partners: Elizabeth and Colonel Fitzwilliam develop this relationship. They have great friendly chemistry during their time in Kent (which most likely continues after Elizabeth's marriage to Darcy), and possibly some mutual romantic feelings as well; but Colonel Fitzwilliam makes it clear (in a subtle fashion) that, as a younger son of a nobleman, he cannot marry whom he chooses, and so they remain friends.
Playing Against Type: Jena Malone as Lydia in the 2005 film. She usually plays reserved good-girl types.
Refuge in Audacity: Lydia sees absolutely no reason why anyone should be upset after she ran away from Brighton with Wickham, and was living with him, unmarried, in London for weeks (which was something almost unthinkable in Jane Austen's time). Yet she not only sees no problem with it, she boasts about it, thinks she's done something praiseworthy, demands such praise from her sisters, and can't understand why her elder sisters and father are a little cold to her. It gets so bad that Elizabeth actually has to leave the room when Lydia's talking at one point because she's physically sickened by her.
Rejection Affection: Averted. While Mr. Collins initially takes Elizabeth's first rejection as encouragement to continue courting her, he soon finds out that she is serious. But his initial interpretation of her rejection as a positive step in their relationship reflects on his views of women in their culture.
Rich Bitch: Bingley's sisters are constantly snide, condescending and haughty, Caroline especially. It's implied that they're a bit Nouveau Riche and are making up for their recent good fortune with excessive snobbery.
Romance on the Set: Although people only learned about it after it had ended, Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle became romantically involved during the 1995 production.
Statuesque Stunner: Lydia in the book - at least, she considers herself to be this. Early in the book, on the prospect of whether or not Bingley will dance with her, Lydia remarks, "Oh, I am not afraid, for though I am the youngest, I'm the tallest!"
Stupid Good: Jane Bennet. She would totally defend any poor defenseless hellspawn (read: Caroline Bingley). The trope doesn't mean the character is literally stupid, however. Even Jane realizes what bad eggs Bingley's sisters are when they deign to visit her in London.
Sugary Malice: Bingley's sisters pretty much live and breathe this trope, but nearly everyone is guilty of it at least once or twice. The only exceptions are Jane and Georgiana (and Anne de Bourgh, mostly because she never speaks).
Surrounded by Idiots: On occasions when both Elizabeth and Jane are absent from Longbourn, Mr. Bennet feels this way while stuck at home with his wife and three youngest daughters — so much so that when Elizabeth leaves to visit the Collinses, he tells her to write often and "almost promises" to answer. (Since he abhors writing letters, this is a big deal.)
Take That: Many hilarious jabs that Mr. Darcy takes against Caroline whenever she feels like belittling Elizabeth. The best are when Caroline accuses Elizabeth of deliberately walking to Netherfield in order to make a scene, to which Darcy points out that a woman using underhanded tactics to get a man's attention is indeed despicable; and when she hints that perhaps the walk has lessened Darcy's estimation of Elizabeth's "fine eyes," he casually replies, "Not at all, they were brightened by the exercise." Also parodied here.
True Art Is Incomprehensible: A blink-and-you'll-miss-it example In-Universe. During Elizabeth's tour of Pemberley, she gives up on admiring the professional pieces of art in favor of Georgiana's childhood scribbles, "whose subjects were usually more interesting, and also more intelligible." Austen - The Snark Knight - strikes again.
Wickham with Elizabeth. When he starts paying attentions to a heiress, her aunt objects, and Elizabeth points out that it's unreasonable to criticize him for wooing a poor woman he can't marry and for wooing a rich woman he can.
Inverted in the famous first line: obviously this inability is the only conceivable reason for a man not to marry.
Unreliable Narrator - Played With: part of Elizabeth's Character Development involves realizing that she is one. Thus Austen encourages Lizzy's biases in the first half of the novel by simply glossing over any contrary evidence, and the turning point occurs when Lizzy is forced to confront the other side of the situation.
What Happened to the Mouse?: A character version, since the novel doesn't describe Mary or Kitty's long-term futures; it says only that Kitty spends most of her time with Elizabeth and Jane, and Mary is therefore called on to keep their mother company most of the time. Poor Mary. In letters to her nieces and nephews, Austen said that Mary eventually married a clerk in Meryton, and Kitty married a gentleman she met while visiting Pemberley. This sounds like bad luck for Mary, but if the clerk thinks she's wonderful and gives her the affection and attention she craves, she'll be happy.
Mrs. Bennet remained silly, but luckily Mr. Bennet still found her amusing.
Kitty and Mary both improved in character: the former because she was influenced less by Lydia and more by Jane and Elizabeth; the latter because she was no longer compared with her more beautiful sisters.
Mr. Bingley and Jane bought an estate only thirty miles away from the Darcys', much to Jane and Elizabeth's joy.
The affections Lydia and Wickham had for each other quickly cooled off, and they lived by leeching off the Darcys and the Bingleys.
Georgiana and Elizabeth developed a great relationship as Mr. Darcy had hoped.
Lady Catherine eventually relented, and Elizabeth managed to reconcile her and Mr. Darcy enough for Lady Catherine to visit Pemberley from time to time.
You Keep Telling Yourself That: Jane insists to Elizabeth that she's not in love with Bingley anymore, she just thinks he's the kindest, handsomest man she's ever met, and always will regard him as "the most amiable man of my acquaintance" but they can totally just be friends now that she knows he's not in love with her. Lizzy laughs in her face.