This trope is fascinating. I never knew this.
A romantic, innocent character, almost always a preteen or teenage girl, who is essentially a fairy-tale heroine in the present (or in the science-fiction future
). She is na´ve, ignorant and insecure (especially about her body). She will be the target of every bully in the world, especially the Alpha Bitch
. All she has going for her is her pure heart, which will save her — she never gives up, no matter what, and will eventually get the better of her tormentors.
The Na´ve Everygirl is not a saint, however. She's bad at showing gratitude, which tends to drive her friends away when she needs them. But eventually she will reconcile with the people who helped her, after wondering how she could be so blind
This character is mostly a Discredited Trope
on Western TV nowadays but were popular before 1990s; only the most idealistic shows on the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism
have one nowadays. But in film and "young adult" fiction, she is inescapable and they are frequent protagonists of Shōjo
stories written by women.
See also Wide-Eyed Idealist
, Love Freak
, The Ingenue
. Compare Unlucky Everydude
, her spear counterpart.
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Anime & Manga
- Fushigi Yuugi: Miaka.
- Princess Nia Teppelin, main love interest in anime series Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, is the embodiment of an extremely idealistic fairy tale heroine trapped in a Super Robot show.
- Sara Werec of Soukou no Strain fits this exactly, although her series slides more to the cynical side than most under this page.
- Fruits Basket:
- Tohru Honda is definitely this with how she enters and approaches the various members of the Sohma family.
- Kana, Hatori's fiance, is arguably this, though one harsh Heroic BSOD snaps her to the point where she needs Hatori's Laser-Guided Amnesia to return to this persona.
- Subverted with Shiina Tamai from Naru Taru. She does start out as one of these, but becomes progressively less innocent as the series progresses, culminating with her and her Shadow Archetype, Mamiko Kuri, slaughtering every human on Earth except themselves.
- Digimon Adventure: Subverted with Hikari/Kari. At first she seems like nothing more than the Affirmative Action Girl and/or the Ill Girl of The Team. She's innocent, sweet, holder of the Crest of Light and hates to see other people in pain. However she also has all the guts and nerve of the older brother she idolises and at the age of eight is capable of holding her own.
- Ukraine from Axis Powers Hetalia. And the story milks it for all the bad luck and hilarity it's worth.
- Seychelles, Liechtenstein and Taiwan have some traits as well, though they also have more energetic and strongwilled sides.
- While C-ko Kotobuki is by no means a saint, she is innocent and optimistic, and she believes in love and friendship. Instead of bullies, she has weird shit happening to her at times. Though she doesn't seem to be too insecure about her body, she does have issues with being alone. She also has the "lovesick girl" aspect as well.
- Berserk: Jill and Princess Charlotte are two sweet and idealistic girls. The Crapsack World they live in is not kind to the na´ve.
- BÚcassine: The protagonist of this comic strip is a young Breton peasant girl who is extremely na´ve, not to say dumb, but "has a heart of gold".
- Abby in Coming Up Violet appears to be this on the surface, and indeed may indeed be a great example of this trope. However, she also harbors the heart of The Chessmaster.
Film — Live-Action
- Pictured above is Giselle from Enchanted who is not an "every-girl" but certainly na´ve.
- Babe from the two Babe films (especially the sequel, Babe: Pig in the City) is a rare male example. (He's also a Talking Animal voiced by a woman.)
- Mia from The Princess Diaries blew off her best friend's brother to go to a party with the most popular guy in school who would hopefully give her a foot popping kiss.
- Bridget Jones is clumsy, insecure (especially about her body), and is very vulnerable yet won't give up her pursuit of love.
- Jamie Bartlett from the Disney Channel movie Read It and Weep, who became so blinded by the prospect of being in the popular crowd that she blew off everyone her inner circle and ignored her best friend Connor, who'd secretly been harboring a crush on her, only to lose this newfound popularity once it's revealed that her novel, "Is Saves The World", was truly a mockery of her high school and its cliques, which makes it difficult for her to gain back everyone's trust.
- Essentially every single Disney Channel heroine can fit into this trope to some extent.
- Most 19th century fairy tales have one, either male or female, and modern stories with a Na´ve Everygirl will often have a Shout-Out to them. The main difference is that in the old fairy tales, she was just as likely to come to a bad end. (Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Match Girl" is a sadistic example full of Glurge.)
- Diane Duane's Young Wizards: Nita, the heroine, started out a Na´ve Everygirl, but matured beyond that stage with the discovery and mastery of her wizardry.
- Sci-fi author John Ringo plays with this trope in his novels. Megan Trevante and Mirta in the short story at the end of John Ringo's Emerald Sea, as well as from the later books of his Council Wars series are subversions of this, one being a very intelligent, tough and cunning young woman and the other spending most of her time pretending to exemplify this. The character Shenea, however, while being very sexual, exemplifies this trope. There are also several in his Paladin of Shadows series (mainly Katrina), which is odd considering the fact it is, by far, his most misogynistic series.
- Twilight: Bella will put herself in danger just to see Edward again.
- Catherine Moreland, the protagonist of Northanger Abbey
Live Action TV
- Dreamy, weak willed Terri from Degrassi The Next Generation is so glad that she has someone who tells her she's beautiful even though she's fat that she doesn't want to break up with him.
- Title character of Ugly Betty: Though Betty has become less na´ve since then, she's still as idealistic as ever.
- Laura Webber (later Baldwin, then Spencer) from General Hospital is an example of this trope, particularly during the character's original appearances from 1975 to 1982. When the character returned in 1993 she had become less na´ve, but still retained most of the other qualities of this trope.
- The Secret World of Alex Mack: Alex relies on her sister to steer her in the realm of her new super-powered life because she's only familiar with everyday mundane life.
- Rebecca Harper, a happy-go-lucky, sugary sweet Team Mom who gets on the other characters nerves, in The Latest Buzz.
- Comic-book/animated example: Chi-Chian Mitsui from Voltaire's Chi-Chian series.
- Kim Possible is at her core a parody of this type; she's insecure about boys, dating, and the social order, and has very few close friends; however, she's admired by her peers, involved in every school activity, and is an international kung-fu-fighting pro-bono action heroine.
- In the sequels of Disney's Cinderella, Anastasia, the redheaded stepsister is retconned into a character like this; insecure, looking for love but knowing little about it, etc.
- Phoebe Terese on The Magic School Bus is a perfect example. She's the sweet natured, reserved romantic of the girls (once saying "Gee, what a guy!" about Arnold and found the notion of a bullfrog couple "romantic"), and tried saving the desert animals (which failed, due to the animals not needing to be saved, as pointed out by Carlos). She's also been picked on by Janet on different occasions, had the class turn on her once, and neglected to realize everything Ms. Frizzle did for her in "Goes to Seed". Despite her advocacy club failing, not being able to name three good things about recycling, and inability to do a slam dunk, Phoebe doesn't give up and retains her innocent nature.
- Aaahh!!! Real Monsters: Gender aside, Ickis fits this. He's got all of the flaws, plus a tendency to say he's giving up... only to come back when it counts.
- Ginger from As Told by Ginger. Dodie and Macie also fit this trope. Even Courtney seems to fit this to a lesser extent (particularly in the high school years).