Literature / The Princess Diaries

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The Princess Diaries is a Young Adult book series by Meg Cabot following the exploits of Amelia "Mia" Thermopolis, a teenager who goes to Albert Einstein High School and lives with her strongly liberal single mom. Her life changes drastically when her father comes for a visit. After being treated for testicular cancer, he is no longer able to have children. Because of this, he finally tells Mia a secret he, her mother, and her grandmother ("Grandmere") have been keeping from her for years: he is really the Prince of the fictional principality of Genovia. Because of his illness and treatment, Mia is now Her Royal Highness of the country and the heir to the throne of Genovia.

Upon first hearing the news, Mia objects to the idea of having to become a princess and having to rule over Genovia. She also fears that this new status will make her an outcast at her school and would rather just be a normal teenager. The series follows Mia as she slowly adjusts to becoming a Princess and coming to terms with the idea of being a ruler.

In 2001, the first book was adapted into a movie starring Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews. It was followed by a sequel in 2004, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. Both movies have a large number of changes from the novels, with the second not resembling any plot point of any of the books with the exception of Mia's mother marrying her teacher and having a baby with him.

In 2015, Meg released two spinoffs: Royal Wedding which is an adult novel that follows Mia as a 25-year old, and From The Notebooks Of A Middle School Princess, which follows Mia's recently revealed half-sister.

Tropes in the books include:

  • A-Cup Angst: Mia, a LOT. She gets rid of this when her breasts develop in Princess Mia.
  • Adaptation Decay: The movies are referenced humorously as In-Universe examples. Almost every time they come up in the books, Mia makes a snide remark. She has little problem with the first movie, aside from how they portray her grandmother and how they kill her dad. The second film is the one she critiques for the decay (Meg Cabot has said that she liked the first film and hated the sequel).
  • Adorkable: Mia, at some points.
  • All First Person Narrators Write Like Novelists: Zigzagged, sometimes Mia writes like this, sometimes she doesn't. Not to mention that Mia really is an aspiring novelist so it would make sense for her to write like this.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: In book 5, Boris towards Lilly. Also, Lilly towards JP.
  • All Psychology Is Freudian: Averted, Lilly's parents are Jungian Psychiatrists and Mia tries for years to achieve self-actualisation.
  • Alpha Bitch: Lana Weinberger.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Poor, poor Perin.
  • Arab Oil Sheikh: Tina's father.
  • Bald of Awesome: Mia's father- she even compares him to Jean-Luc Picard.
  • Beta Couple: Originally, Boris and Lilly, later Boris and Tina. Briefly there was also JP and Lilly, before JP moved on to Mia and Lilly moved on to Kenny.
  • Betty and Veronica: Mia between Michael (Betty) and Josh (Veronica) in the first book (and movie). In the later books it's Mia between JP (Betty) and Michael (Veronica).
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Mia in Book Ten is gracious to JP during their breakup, but then she calls the Genovian lawyers to put a cease and desist on his play for what he did to Lilly. You don't want to cross a princess with a cellphone.
  • Big Brother Instinct:
    • Michael in general has this towards Lilly, but he's not afraid to call her out for being a Jerkass.
    • Mia is the older sister version of this towards Rocky. She adores him, worries about his health, and wants to protect him from all infectious diseases.
  • Big "NO!": Mia has a couple moments of these. Usually involving Grandmere.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: J.P. turns out to be a Manipulative Bastard who was mainly using Mia to get famous.
  • Blatant Lies: Lana's election speech in Book 6 is full of these- in essence, she tells the crowd that she'll get them exactly what they want, despite the fact that, as Mia knows, it'd be impossible to get it (and in some cases, getting it would be totally unfair on others).
  • Book Dumb: Mia considers herself this, but, apart from math, it's hard for the reader to tell.
    • Lana and Trish consider her pretty smart but she spends a lot of time with Teen Geniuses Lilly and Michael which gives her a very high standard of intelligence. She is not very good at math and science, but is very good at English and speaks seemingly fluent French at times.
  • Brick Joke: Mia's boyfriend suggests going bowling instead of going to prom. Years later, there is a reference to spending the night at an "all night bowling alley." Doubles as an Unusual Euphemism.
  • Cerebus Retcon:
    • It's a Running Gag that after Mia and Michael get together she becomes neurotic about him breaking up with her because of her flaws and lack of accomplishments. Then she breaks up with him after learning of his sexual history, and as a result of the ensuing Trauma Conga Line needs therapy to realize that she has to become the change she wants to have, and to make great accomplishments.
    • Lilly and Mia stop being friends during the first book when Lilly insults Mia for getting an Unnecessary Makeover (at least Mia in-universe thinks it's unnecessary]], but they make up by the end. Then after Mia kisses JP by accident after breaking up with Michael, their relationship becomes strained for several books.
  • Changeling Fantasy: Mia discovers that she's the princess of Genovia. Deconstructed, as it turns out to be a lot less fun than one might expect.
  • Character Development:
    • The series is a Coming-of-Age Story as Mia goes from an insecure, neurotic 14-year-old to a strong, confident, friendly woman you could see leading people (albeit still very neurotic).
    • Lana goes from Alpha Bitch to one of Mia's good friends.
  • Character Overlap: One of the novels has Mia reference Sam from All-American Girl and Jess from 1-800-Where-R-U, two of Meg Cabot's other works.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • The Guy Who Hates It When They Put Corn In The Chili, JP Reynolds-Abernathy the Fourth ends up becoming Mia's boyfriend after she and Michael break up in the eighth book.
    • Prince Rene, Mia's cousin who Grandmere wants her to date, ends up running against Mia's dad when Genovia has elections for prime minister.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Tina is this sometimes. Mia comments several times that she "wonders what it's like in Tinaland. Everything must be very shiny there."
  • Comic-Book Time: Subverted. The series takes place over four years, as Mia attends high school but the release of the books took around ten years (the first one was published in 2000, the last in early 2009). Despite the use of Comic-Book Time, the books use heavy pop culture references and specific dates so it's pretty clear what year the book is set.
  • Coming-of-Age Story
  • Consummate Liar: Mia. Although other characters eventually work out she has the tell of her nostrils flaring when she lies. JP counts too.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Lilly Moscovitz. Mia herself sometimes.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance:
    • Grandmere to almost everyone else.
    • Discussed when Mia's mother talks about Jane Eyre, namely of Mr. Rochester's wife being a Mad Woman In The Attic. Helen points out that confinement in an attic was more humane than most insane asylums at the time.
  • Derailing Love Interests: JP in the last book.
  • Diary: A fictional example.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Lilly creates a hate site all about Mia due to being a Woman Scorned over JP instead of just telling her. Lilly is ashamed of it in Book Ten, even asking, "How do you forgive something like that?"
  • Dork Horse Candidate: Mia, and later, Lilly.
  • Downer Beginning: Princess Mia and Royal Wedding have these. Mia's suffering a Trauma Conga Line in the former, and in the latter her stepfather is dead and her biological father has been arrested for driving a race-car down the New York streets.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In the first book Mia is pretty nonchalant around Michael, even finding him kind of annoying but warms up to him and seems to have picked up on his crush on her near the end. By the second book (which is set only a week later), she's been "completely in love with him for years" and is Oblivious to Love, two facts that carry over into the other books.
    • In the first book Michael is a huge nerd and a loner. By the second Mia says that it's well-known that he's the third hottest guy in their school (although she might be biased since she loves him).
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: Mia, and later Boris and Lilly have their hair dyed blond when they undergo their makeovers.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Subverted, more often than not Mia thinks her life would be much better if she wasn't a princess.
    Mia: (In her diary) Being royal loses a lot of its glamor once it actually happens to you.
  • Evil Matriarch: Grandmere. Is also a Cool Old Lady at times, as well as a Magnificent Bitch.
  • Extreme Doormat: MIA- the reason she lies all the time is to avoid hurting others by telling them her true feelings. This causes major problems for her.
  • First Boy Wins: Out of all her potential love interests throughout the series, Michael was not only the first one she met, but the first one she had a crush on.
  • Five-Token Band: Mia's companions include the Jewish Moscovitzes, Black Shameeka, Arabian Tina, Asian Ling Su, and the implied Lesbian couple Ling Su and Perin.
  • Game of Nerds: viz., Michael's game.
  • Geeks, Nerds
  • Genius Bonus: If Mia had actually looked up the word "libidinous" when she planned to, she would have had a major hint as to Michael's feelings toward her. (Lilly asks Michael if his actions toward Mia have 'libidinous roots' two and a half books before the latter two get together. Mia is impressed by her vocabulary.)
  • Genius Ditz: Tina.
  • Genre Savvy: Tina again. She Thinks Like a Romance Novel and thus knows people's intentions within a romance novel setting.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: In universe. Lilly Tells It Like It Is wound up being very popular in Korea.
  • Glamorous Single Mother: Subverted with Helen. On one hand she's a gorgeous, successful artist with a nice artist loft in Manhattan with an active social life. On the other hand she can only afford her home and Mia's school because Philippe pays for it all and Mia's childhood was full of moments of her mom messing up, like their power being cut off.
  • Grande Dame: Mia's grandmother.
  • Granola Girl: Mia is a vegetarian and often gives donations to Greenpeace.
  • Gray Eyes: Mia
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Lilly sometimes has this about Mia, since Mia is a princess, gets the part of Rosagunde in Party Princess and has a few guys like JP chasing after her. Genre Savvy Tina picks up on this and tells Mia.
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend:
    • JP. Mia doesn't want to date him because she just broke up with her long-time boyfriend. An article in the New York Post saying they should get together because they're both "so tall and blond" doesn't exactly help. Also, everyone thinks he's the perfect "rebound" guy for her.
    • And a year and a half when she dating him Michael comes back from Japan. Mia still has feelings for him. Tina can tell, and constantly pesters her about it.
  • Graceful Loser: Lana after losing the presidential election to Mia. The worst thing she does is try to Black Mail Mia about messing up the school budget in exchange for invitations to a celebrity charity, and mock her Important Haircut of Princess on the Brink by calling her Peter Pan. She then Took a Level in Kindness following Mia's break-up with Michael and acceptance of an invitation to speak at Domina Rei. In fact, Lana recommended Mia as a speaker because of the latter's presidential speech.
  • Her Code Name Was "Mary Sue":
    • At some point Mia tries to write stage plays based on her diary entries. They come out as honest and hilarious as you may expect.
    • JP's play is this in full, where he portrays himself as an Only Sane Man that ends up becoming a prince and Mia as a "kook" and Damsel in Distress. Mia is not amused, though she doesn't confront him about it until the end.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: Mia spends Book 9 trying to pull herself out of clinical depression.
  • Hidden Backup Prince
  • Hide Your Lesbians: Perin and Ling Su.
    • Though Ling Su is mentioned to have a boyfriend in the first couple of books - it turns out in Volume X that any dates with boys either of them had was to pretend to be straight.
  • Hypocrisy Nod: When Boris tries to comfort Mia and says she's unreasonable for taking to bed after the nasty breakup with Michael, Mia points out that he smashed a globe on his head when Lilly cheated on him and broke up with him.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: For most of the series Mia wants to just go back to her old life. In Royal Wedding she admits at the beginning that if there had been more Internet and social media then she would've found out long before entering high school.
  • Informed Ability: Tina is apparently smart enough to become a surgeon (and later a gynecologist). we don't see much evidence of this but it's not impossible given her personality that she's a Bunny-Ears Lawyer.
  • Insecure Love Interest: Both Michael and Mia suffer from this. Michael feels he needs to prove himself worthy of dating a princess, and Mia considers herself not intelligent enough to date a genius.
    • Tina has a bit when Boris comes back from the Hamptons looking hot and she worries he'll dump her for someone thinner.
  • Insistent Terminology:
    • Braid! isn't a play, it's a musical.
    • Applebee's doesn't have Bloomin' Onions, that's Outback.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Grandmere's beauty has seen better days and now is wrinkly with tattooed make up and drawn on brows, she and Mia note she was quite a beautiful fashionista in her youth.
  • Insufferable Genius: Lilly.
  • It's All About Me: While generally kind-hearted, Mia sometimes falls in to this. A notable example was in Princess on the Brink, where she had a BSOD for half the book because her boyfriend was leaving for a year to build a robot that could save thousands, if not millions, of people's lives and lessen suffering around the world. Multiple characters call her out on her attitude.
  • Ivy League for Everyone: Somewhat justified, as the series takes place at an upper class private school in New York.
    • And even then most don't get their first choice college and as Lana points out she (and perhaps some other students) have parents who are legacies.
    • In the election debate in book 6, Lana promises to get everyone into Ivy League schools if they elect her. Part of Mia's reaction and response is pointing out that nobody is guaranteed entrance to an Ivy League school, even if they had parents who went there.
    • Mia herself manages to be accepted to every Ivy League school. However, it is very obvious that she was only accepted because she is a Princess and a celebrity. This greatly disappoints Mia and she ends up not going to any of them as a result, preferring to go to Sarah Lawrence.
  • Jerk Jock: Josh Richter.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Lilly and Grandmere. Michael at times, especially in the early books.
  • Kick the Dog: A literal example. Princess Amelie writes in her journal that no one in the family liked her Uncle Francesco because one time he kicked their dog.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Mia sometimes thinks this, but the series plays with the trope.
    • Tina was a loner in high school due to her bodyguard and Overprotective Dad. When Mia sits with her, however, she finds out that Tina is Spoiled Sweet and thinks highly of everyone.
    • Played straight, then subverted in Book 7 with The Guy Who Hates It When They Put Corn In The Chili (aka JP Reynolds-Abernathy IV)
  • Love Triangle: Many, the main ones being Michael/Mia/JP, Mia/JP/Lilly, Lilly/Boris/Tina. Some more minor ones are Michael/Mia/Kenny, Mia/Michael/Judith, Boris/Lilly/Hank, Boris/Lilly/Jangbu, Mia/Josh/Lana.
  • The Makeover: Subverted in that Mia thinks her makeover makes her look worse, and after a while she goes back to looking like she normally does ("like a blonde Q-tip") and her looks aren't brought up very often after that. Played straight later on when Lana starts giving her fashion tips.
  • Marital Rape License: Mia's ancestress Rosagunde fell victim to this when an invader forced her to marry him and drink wine out of her dead father's skull, which led to other things before she strangled him with her hair. Lilly points this out when Grandmere wants to make a musical about Rosagunde.
  • Micro Monarchy: Genovia.
  • Mr Muffykins: Grandmere's poodle Rommel is a mix of type one and two of this trope.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • How Mia feels at the end of "Princess on the Brink," and after kissing Michael in Book Ten.
    • Lilly has been feeling like this since the end of Book Nine and through Book Ten.
  • Nerds Are Sexy
  • Nice Girl: Mia is this most of the time. Also Tina.
  • Noodle Incident: "I will apologize to the Genovian olive growers about that thing with the pits."
  • The Nose Knows: Mia frequently comments that she loves the smell of Michael's neck. In the last book, she realizes that there's a scientific explanation for it during her psychology exam.
  • Not So Different: Lana Took a Level in Kindness after Mia and Michael break up, because she knows exactly what Mia is going through. They actually bond over it.
  • Numbered Sequels - The UK versions of series have fun with this; the sequels are called The Princess Diaries: Take Two, The Princess Diaries: Third Time Lucky, The Princess Diaries: Mia Goes Fourth, The Princess Diaries: Give Me Five, The Princess Diaries: Sixsational, The Princess Diaries: Seventh Heaven, The Princess Diaries: After Eight, The Princess Diaries: To the Nines and The Princess Diaries: Ten Out of Ten.
  • Oblivious to Love: Mia. If you want to let her know about your romantic intentions, do not be subtle about it. Just straight up tell her or she will never realize it.
    • Before they got together she thought Michael tutored her in algebra (daily) because she was Lilly's friend, that he asked about what she did on the weekend so they could do more algebra, that his song about her was just 'some guy' who liked 'a girl' and wandered about shirtless by accident. Yeah...
    • Mia was unaware that Kenny had a crush on her and was her secret admirer until he asked her out.
    • She also couldn't tell JP was into her either despite him dumping Lilly the day after she broke up with Michael, asking about her constantly and him going out of his way to spend time with her, including inviting her out to see her favorite Broadway musical.
    • And happens AGAIN with Michael in Forever Princess where she can't tell that he's obviously still in love with her.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: We only hear about it secondhand, but Michael pulled off an epic What the Hell, Hero? speech on Lilly when he found out about the hate site she created about Mia and told Lilly to be nice to the latter. It worked, given that Lilly is The Atoner in Book Ten
  • Off with His Head!: This is how one of Mia's ancestors dealt with an invader, by sneaking into his tent and cutting off his head. Mia is impressed when Grandmere tells her this tale.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: The Guy Who Hates It When They Put Corn In The Chili. It's revealed late in the series that his name is JP.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations / One Scene, Two Monologues: In Book Two, Mia's phone call from her grandmother after her interview airs. Starts as the former, with both saying the interview went terribly. Mia thinks so because of the negative things she said about her teachers and fellow students; Grandmere thinks so because no Scenery Porn shots of Genovia were edited in. It turns into the latter as the conversation goes on, with each talking past each other about their own complaints.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • In Book 2, Mia's mother expresses guilt for sending her parents to stay in a hotel. Mia thinks it's a pregnancy hormones since Helen doesn't get along with her parents.
    • Mia in book 9, which is lampshaded. While spending Heroic B.S.O.D. in bed, only getting up to binge eat desserts and meat, Grandmere shows up and demands that Mia attend a Domina Rei function and make a speech. Mia to make Grandmere go away agrees politely.
  • Opposites Attract: Mia considers herself and Michael this, as opposed to her Birds of a Feather relationship with JP, even finding a scientific explanation (see The Nose Knows above). In actuality, she and Michael have a lot in common, she just has a hard time seeing it that way.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: At least, ordinary private school student.
  • Parents as People: While they are Good Parents Mia's mother is a flighty artist and her father is a casanova prince, so they fall under this trope as well.
  • Perverse Sexual Lust: More than once Mia's friends tease her about her weird love for two-dimensional guys, including "Hellboy, Tarzan, the Beast, Tom Sloane, and that hot soldier guy".
  • Pet the Dog: Grandmere has her occasional moments:
    • Defending Mia and taking her dress shopping for her dance date with Josh Richter, despite Mia's parents disagreeing.
    • Encouraging Mia in book 3 to go to the Nondenominational Winter Dance and not spend the rest of her life hanging out on a fire escape.
    • Actually asking Mia what she wants for her birthday, then choosing "end to world hunger" off the list and sponsoring an orphan in Mia's name
    • After blackmailing Mia into playing Princess Rosagunde for Braid!, gives her the money to make up the deficit in the student government that Mia created.
    • Saying that she might have been wrong about Michael when Michael donates a Cardio Arm to Genovia without any preemption in Book 10. And suggesting that Mia sleep with Michael and JP to see which does better in bed, much to Mia's horror.
  • Pinocchio Nose: Mia's nostrils flare when she lies. She starts practicing with Grandmere to correct this.
  • Politically Active Princess: Mia.
    • Also Gender Inverted with Mia's dad, as it's actually wondered by one of the other characters why Phillipe bothers to run in the Genovian election, and Mia specifically responds with something similar to this trope.
  • Preppy Name: Justified as most of the characters are either royalty or are wealthy and actually go to prep school. John Paul Reynolds-Abernathy IV is probably the most egregious example.
    • Mia herself qualifies; her full name (and title) is Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo, Her Royal Highness the Princess of Genovia.
  • Punny Name: Mia's shrink, Dr. Knutz, which is lampshaded by Mia.
  • Quirky Curls: Mia started out with them but her make-over flat-ironed them away.
  • Race for Your Love: Subverted. Mia races to the airport to meet Michael before his plane leaves for Japan. She's too late - his flight has left.
  • Real Women Never Wear Dresses: In-universe: Mia spends a couple of pages wangsting about how her grandmother took her to an expensive hairdresser. Same goes for painted nails. To be fair, part of her complaints are that they make her look like Lana.
    • Averted with Mia's own list of women she admires, where she lists women like: her mom, Lilly, a lady cop she saw, Madonna, Princess Diana, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Picabo Street, Leola Mae Harmon (whose life story she saw on Lifetime), Joan of Arc, and Christy.
    • In one of the last books when Mia's trying to publish the romance novel she wrote many people — namely JP and Grandmere— fuss over the fact it's a romance novel. Never mind that it's 400 pages long, she did tons of research on medieval times, she spent two years working on it, and it's actually one of the hardest genres to write well.
  • Really Gets Around:
  • Rebellious Princess: Mia
  • Rich Bitch: Lana and Trisha. They both get better.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Fat Louie.
  • Rousing Speech: Mia gives two. One when she's running against Lana for the post of Student Council President, and another when she gets invited to speak at a Domina Rei function.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Subverted. Mia's dad is an active leader and later even runs for Prime Minister in order to continue leading even after Mia reveals the constitution, Grandmere is pretty content to just be a Rich Bitch. Mia, for her part, wants to be somewhere in the middle, a princess but able to pursue her own ambitions separate from Genovia.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Boris, who actually manages to turn hot later in the series.
    • Mia becomes this trope over the course of the series, which is Lampshaded by other characters in Book 10, and she lands in a "Hot" column in a magazine.
  • Shipper on Deck: Tina tends to ship her friends, especially Mia. Mia's mom and Mr G also seem to ship Mia/Michael. Grandmere however ships Mia/JP. Mia herself ships Boris/Tina in later books though its mostly to protect Boris from Lilly after she cheated on him.
    • In Book 9, Lana ships JP with Mia, believing that he can be her rebound guy. Later Lana, Trisha and Tina start to ship Mia/Michael when the latter reappears.
  • Shout-Out: Several, including Firefly, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Degrassi, Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, and Sailor Moon.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: When Lilly expresses worry that the plot of Braid! involves, among other things, Marital Rape License and war, Grandmere points out that lots of musicals have heavy stuff, like South Pacific, West Side Story, and Jesus Christ Superstar. Mia is chagrined that Grandmere has actually make a good point.
  • Silent Snarker: Lars manages to come across as this despite it being a book.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Mia's ancestors have a tradition of this, starting with the first Genovian princess Rosagunde that strangled an invading king after he forced her to marry him and drink wine from her father's skull.
  • Single Girl Seeks Most Popular Guy: Only in the first book.
  • Soapbox Sadie: Lilly. Mia occasionally gets into this territory as well.
  • Spoiled Sweet:
    • Tina Hakim-Baba's father is an Overprotective Dad oil baron who gives his daughter a bodyguard and an allowance of $50 a week. Tina is the nicest character in the series.
    • Mia becomes this when she starts to use the American Express card that her father gave her, for emergencies. She has memories of her mother not paying electric bills, however, and eating Chinese takeout on a regular basis.
  • Straw Feminist: LILLY, to the point where she writes an "essay" about famous women she is jealous of and why they should all go away to a desert island for being beautiful. Keira Knightley and Halle Berry are some of the actresses on this list.
  • Super OCD: Mia obsesses about many, many things. Played for Laughs and Deconstructed. Her over the top obsessing over things can be funny but causes her a lot of stress that takes its toll on her mental health.
    • Lilly even calls Mia a "baby-licker" for fussing about Rocky's health (Rocky being Mia's younger half-brother), and Mia's mom starts nicknaming her that.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.: Some of Mia's actions look a lot less sympathetic once you hear Lana and Lilly's side of the story.
    • Also we the reader are supposed to view some of Mia's actions and thoughts as ridiculous, like if she and her friends believe they are behaving like intellectuals but are actually behaving like silly teenage girls (for example, Mia and Tina's inability to understand Ms. Martinez liking Pride and Prejudice for reasons other than "how hot Colin Firth looked"). However, since Mia is the one writing it, she doesn't understand how silly this comes across as. In fact this is one of the main sources of humor in the series.
  • The B Grade: played straight and averted. In book 6 Mia is horrified to get a B in English, her best subject. The B was mainly due to the fact her new English teacher didn't like the essay subject. On the other hand Mia is thrilled to get a B- in algebra.
  • The Snark Knight: Lilly, so, so much.
  • Talented Princess, Regular Guy: Inverted with Mia and Michael. Mia's relationships with JP and Kenny could also count, since they are both incredibly smart and talented as well.
  • The Atoner: Lilly becomes this in Book 10, after she created that nasty hate site about Mia and Michael found out about it. Mia takes a while to figure it out, though.
  • The Friends Who Never Hang: Despite Boris dating two of Mia's best friends and being good friends with her boyfriend, he and Mia don't seem like very close friends, though they have their moments like when they bond in Princess in Love or Boris cheers her up in Princess Mia.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Lilly to Mia in Book Nine, which includes Lilly angrily announcing that she created the hate site about Mia. Later on Lilly is very regretful about it.
    • Mia gives one to JP for telling about a dozen lies, including that he broke up with Lilly merely because Mia had broken up with Michael.
  • The Talk: Mia's mother gives it to her in Book Ten.
  • Their First Time: In the later books, Mia and Michael plan for this, but it is called off by Mia when it turns out it ISN'T his first time.
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted in books nine and Ten. Also, Lilly and Michael's parents question Mia when she goes over to their apartment and Lilly tries to imitate them.
  • The One That Got Away: For Phillipe Renaldo, Mia's mother Helen. He tells Mia that letting her go was the worst decision he ever made even though she didn't want to be a princess.
  • Thinks Like a Romance Novel: Tina does this, making her Genre Savvy in a romantic comedy series. Mia sometimes lapses into this.
  • This Is Reality: In Book 10, Mia tries this mindset by saying "Life is not a romance novel" after Michael walks out of her birthday party on seeing JP invite Mia to prom with a "promise ring.". The book itself subverts this, however.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Lilly wasn't nice before, but she goes WAY overboard during books eight and nine after JP breaks up with her. Thankfully this reverts during book ten.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: After years of being an Alpha Bitch and a bully to Mia, Lana offers friendship following Mia's Trauma Conga Line in Book Nine, since Mia accepted an offer to speak at Domina Rei. Following a shopping spree at Bendel's, Mia realizes that Lana is Not So Different from Lilly.
  • Transsexual: Ronnie, Mia's neighbor.
  • Two Decades Behind: Tons of references to classic 80's teen movies and TV shows like Party of Five and Charmed..
  • Twice Shy: A thousand times Mia and Michael. It's implied Michael's had feelings for Mia long before the beginning of the series, and Mia realizes she has a crush on him during the first book. Even though Everyone Can See It and they hang out every day, they take three books to admit they love each other, even dating other people in the middle. To finally clear things up they resort to sending anonymous love letters and replying via a computer program.
  • Unreliable Narrator: While Mia doesn't mean to lie in her diary, she often has memory lapses or a rose-tinted/melodramatic reaction to what is going on around her and completely misinterprets people's motives.
  • Visual Pun: In Princess In the Spotlight, Lilly wears a black slip and a beard for her Halloween costume. She's a Freudian Slip.
  • Wanting Is Better Than Having: Prince Phillipe and his romantic conquests. He thinks that Helen is his one true love but assisted her in eloping with Mr. Giannini.
  • What Does She See in Him?/What Does He See In Her?: This trope goes both ways in the relationship between Mia and Michael. And Mia keeps asking herself this, which creates a lot of Wangst.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Mia calls out Michael for not only helping Judith Gershner cheat on her boyfriend, but not telling Mia that he had lost his virginity. Note that Mia is a health freak and a minor with self-esteem issues. Later on Mia regrets this, but Michael two years later admits that she was right.
    • Lilly towards Mia for kissing JP after the latter had broken up with Lilly, and then going on a "platonic" date with him. This leads to a two-year rift between the two.
    • Michael towards Lilly for creating a hate site about Mia, and orders her to be nice to the latter. Lilly later on says that the reason she didn't try to make amends is because "how do you apologize for something like that?"
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Tina, whenever romance is involved. Subverted a bit when Tina reveals to Mia that she's been sleeping with Boris regularly for about a year or so, but she still has an overly idealistic attitude about love.
    • Mia can also be like this when romance is involved, as pointed out by her parents.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Michael and Mia in the first three books, and then again in the last one. They do. Twice.
  • With Friends Like These...: Lilly is a horrible friend, but for much of the series she's one of the few friends that Mia has.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: Mia herself, to the point where you start to wonder if she has dyscalculia or a similar disorder related to numbers.
  • Your Cheating Heart:
    • Lilly cheats on Boris with Mia's cousin and a busboy and later breaks up with Boris. He doesn't take it well.
    • Becomes a case of Laser-Guided Karma JP was emotionally cheating on Lilly, pining after Mia instead.
    • Following a platonic lunch date, Mia and Michael have a passionate makeout session in a horse carriage while the former is in a relationship with another guy. Mia has a lot of mixed feelings about it.

Tropes for Royal Wedding include:

  • Abusive Parents: Olivia is NOT Happily Adopted with her aunt and uncle; her aunt is an Extreme Doormat who cares more about stains on the carpet, and her uncle is a construction mogul that uses the child support payments to fund his projects.
  • Age Lift: Set eight years after Forever Princess; Mia celebrates her twenty-sixth birthday and notes it's been twelve years since she learned she was a princess.
  • Alpha Bitch: Annabelle Jenkins is this to Olivia in middle school, with her dad threatening to sue the school if they lay a hand on her daughter.
  • Amoral Attorney: Annabelle Jenkins's father. His daughter is an Alpha Bitch.*
  • Babies Ever After:
    • Lana has a sweet baby girl that she's entering into an infant pageant.
    • Mia and Michael have twins via Surprise Pregnancy.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Helen and Philippe had this when they conceived Mia, and it comes back a year after Mr. Giannini dies.
  • Big "NO!": Much like her older sister, Olivia delivers this when she hears that she has to go back with her Abusive Parents for a short time until Phillipe and Mia sort out the custody issues.
  • Big Brother Instinct:
    • Downplayed between Mia and Rocky, since Rocky is now nine years old and a bit of an Annoying Younger Sibling for Mia, who doesn't live at home anymore, but she obviously still loves him. It helps that he's no longer a newborn in need of protecting.
    • Played straight between Mia and Olivia, given the battle over custody is due to Mia realizing that the latter lives with Abusive Parents who want to move her to Qalif, a country that is infamous for oppressing women, and using the custody money to fund a construction empire.
    • Averted with Olivia's cousins, who didn't lift a finger to help her when the school bully busts her nose bloody and treat her as either someone to hang out if they're out of the Alpha Bitch crowd or a means to charge kids for the privilege of sitting with a princess at lunch.
  • Bilingual Backfire: While driving Olivia to New York, Mia and Grandmere have a rapid, tense conversation in French about the Qalif refugee situation. Olivia then interjects, revealing she knows enough French to get the gist, and comes up with a creative solution for the problem.
  • Calling the Old Man Out:
    • Mia is REALLY furious with her dad in this book; both for the racecar and not telling anyone that she has a half-sister.
    • Olivia gives an epic one to her Abusive Parents when she comes home with a bloody nose and her aunt cares more about the coffee that spills on the carpet when Mia and Philippe rush to Olivia's aid.
  • Character Overlap:
    • The country of Qalif and its abusive policies towards women are mentioned.
    • Given Amy Jenkins has wanted to name her daughter Annabelle, her husband Stuart Hertzog makes a cameo and has apparently changed his last name.
  • Cheerful Child:
    • Rocky, despite or because of his father's death, becomes obsessed with dinosaurs and farts.
    • Olivia is this as well, despite getting bullied and living with Abusive Parents.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The tests that Mia order from her doctor about an eye twitch reveal that she is pregnant with twins.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Tina's ability to think like a romance novel helps Michael plan the perfect proposal to Mia. That and also asking Mia how she wants a proposal.
  • Did Not Think This Through: Mia going to get Olivia and tell her she's a princess, without the pressure of being in front of the cameras all the time. A celebrity princess that is recognized everywhere and goes to pick up a girl from middle school?
  • Downer Beginning: Mr. Gianini is dead and Mia's father has been arrested for driving a race-car down the New York streets.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Poor Mr. Gianini . . .
  • Drowning My Sorrows: After Mia reveals to her dad that she knows about Olivia, Philippe shows up at the embassy where Mia is hiding and they both indulge in some schnapps. Somehow this also allows them to bond.
  • Evil Redhead: Grandmere holds this belief, at least towards those of a lower class than hers (she's fine with Prince Harry and movie stars yet thinks Ron Weasley to be the villain instead of Voldemort), Olivia's Jerkass Uncle and her cousins fill this role perfectly.
  • Expy: As a "birthday present," JP sends Mia a dystopian novel featuring a love triangle between a blonde and a brunette. Sound familiar?
    • J.P. has a history of putting people he knows into his books/screenplays/plays and giving them similar names. The heroine, "Amalia", is torn between blond, creative "Jared" (John Paul) and brunet, analytical "Mick" (Michael). In the manuscript, as in his fantasy life, "Amalia" prefers "Jared."
  • Fiction 500: Mia has now joined this legion as an adult and princess of Genovia; she can write a check for $30,000 without blinking an eye. Michael is the same, what with his company Pavlov Surgical becoming highly profitable. The wealth can't buy her privacy, however, or complete safety from her stalkers.
  • Forgiven, but Not Forgotten:
    • Even though Mia and Lilly are friends again, Tina has become Mia's number one best friend with whom she talks ever day.
    • Mia's mom acts hostile towards Lana, remembering how the latter was an Alpha Bitch to Mia.
    • Mia holds no hatred towards her ex JP and thus is able to grit her teeth when he sends her a birthday wish over Instagram. It's also why she is confused when he turns out to be Rabble Rouser
    • Discussed when Mia talks about a reporter, stating that tv shows like Mad Men and Game of Thrones teach that it doesn't matter if you dislike someone and/or have never forgiven them, you put those personal feelings aside for the job to be done.
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: Discussed in this book; Mia mentions how good people can easily get taken advantage of, and she is very hurt and confused when it turns out her stalker is her ex-boyfriend JP.
  • Hollywood Midlife Crisis: Mia's dad suffers one throughout the book.
  • Hope Spot: Played for Laughs when Mia thinks that she at least has some say in how her wedding will go. Grandmere sends the Snobs Vs Slobs equivalent of a HAHAHA–No text saying that they won't have a taco bar or mini grill-cheese sandwiches. Eventually, however, some compromises are made.
  • Jerkass:
    • Count Ivan, Phillipe's rival in the polls. He uses the Genovians' xenophobia about refugees from Qalif to earn points, all the while making a special deal with cruise lines so that they can bring their boats in. Mia nearly tells him off at a party and Grandmere has to stop her.
    • Uncle Rick for Olivia, who laughs when she talks about how his lawyer's daughter punched her at school and said lawyer threatened to sue the school and the Genovian Guards if they laid a finger on his daughter.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Annabelle Jenkins suffers no comeuppance for giving Olivia a bloody nose, even with the Genovian Royal Guard watching her.
    • The same goes for most of the hate groups that target Mia and Michael, sending angry emails.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em:
    • Olivia's aunt and uncle relinquish custody after Olivia comes home with a bloody nose and the Genovian lawyers threaten to sue the uncle for misusing Olivia's child support.
    • Count Ivar drops out of the election when it turns out he has a conflict of interest regarding the cruise ships.
  • Loose Lips:
    • Because Michael went to ask for Mia's hand from her dad, Mia's dad let loose about the proposal to Grandmere, who leaks it to the press.
    • Annabelle Jenkins spills the beans about Olivia's royal status because her dad found out.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father:
    • Grandmere delivers the inversion to Mia: You have a sister.
    • Mia delivers the same news to Olivia, her half-sister.
  • Midlife Crisis Car: Mia's dad buys a racecar and drives it in New York traffic. He has to post bail.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: As it turns out, Boris. It's amazing what a jealous fangirl with Photoshop can do.
  • Mood Whiplash: The book seems to be a standard Princess Diaries book with the hijinks that ensue from Michael proposing . . . and then Mia learns she has a half-sister whose mother is dead.
  • No, Except Yes: When Olivia comes home with a bloody nose and says she wants to live with Mia and Phillipe, her aunt says, "That's not what you want . . . to grow up to be some snobby, rich princess?"
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Michael delivers one to JP when he catches the latter selling tickets to their wedding. He's mentioned wanting to do one in the original series.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • Phillipe gets angry when Olivia comes home with a bloody nose, and when he learns how the money he sent wasn't being used to take care of her. He delivers a brief The Reason You Suck speech to Olivia's aunt about how Olivia's mother wanted her daughter to be loved, and it's certainly not the case.
    • He also acts as Reasonable Authority Figure about his stepson Rocky talking about farts and volcanoes
  • Pet the Dog: Because Grandmere and her other granddaughter Olivia bond over poodles, Grandmere gives the latter her new poodle as a gift. All the more Heart Warming since Grandmere wanted to keep the latter a secret and under wraps before, for pragmatic reasons.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • At the end of the book, The Royal Genovian Guard persuades JP to work on a Russian icebreaker.
    • Inverted when Mia takes Olivia away from New Jersey, to first live in New York and then in Genovia.
  • Remember the New Guy: At least Prince Rene was introduced before he ran against Mia's dad, but the readers have never heard of Count Ivan.
  • Ridiculously Successful Future Self: Boris has become a pop star in the intervening years.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Inverted; Mia recognizes that Olivia's aunt is trying to get money out of her in exchange for permission to take Olivia for a few days, to get to know her. Mia writes a check for the amount that the aunt specifies without blinking an eye.
  • Snobs Versus Slobs:
    • As it turns out, because Genovians are a relatively wealthy population, they look down on the refugees coming from Qalif that may potentially carry TB.
    • Olivia's aunt accuses Mia of being a "snobby, rich princess," which Mia takes offense to, and it's an unreasonable accusation given Mia has founded a community center that aids children in need.
  • Squee!: Olivia gives a happy squeal when she sees her father Philippe and leaps into his arms for a hug.
  • Surprise Pregnancy: Mia is pregnant with twins!
  • Take That, Audience!: Meg Cabot through Grandmere points out the absurdity of Ron the Death Eater, since Grandmere only doesn't like Ron because he's a redhead.
  • The Unfair Sex: Happens in-universe, with Mia acknowledging it. When Tina finds nude photos of Boris with a fangirl, Boris claims that the girl edited them and that he would never cheat on Tina. Michael, who is Boris's friend, advises Mia to listen to both sides of the story, while Mia tells Tina to keep away from Boris. As it turns out, the photos were edited; apparently Boris and Tina made nude photos together and the girl got ahold of them.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: JP! Not only does he try to sell tickets to Mia's wedding, but it turns out he was stalking Mia as Royal Rabble Rouser while asking her to read his dystopian novel.
  • Wham Line: Grandmere delivers it: Mia, you have a sister.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/ThePrincessDiaries