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Series: Lizzie McGuire
Meet Lizzie McGuire, a completely normal 13-year old girl, living a completely normal life. She goes to a completely normal school, with students (The Alpha Bitch Kate Sanders, ditzy hottie Ethan Kraft), and friends (dependable but emotional Miranda Sanchez, Teen Genius David Gordon, aka Gordo). Her home life is completely stereotypical, with a Nuclear Family that consists of her gnome-loving dad, Sam; level-headed mom, Jo, and bratty brother, Matt.

Also, Lizzie has an animated conscience inside her head narrating her every move.

This (and the transformation of Hilary Duff into an Idol Singer) managed to keep this series on Disney Channel for a full 65 episodes. From January, 2001 to February, 2004. It is commonly misblamed for being the first of Disney's tween sitcoms geared toward a more surburban audience, when the first being That's So Raven...being created by that one company known as Its A Laugh Productions, but not the last Disney Channel shows (not counting cartoons) not made by that company, the last being Phil of the Future.

It also has the honor of being the first Disney Channel Live Action TV series to gain a theatrical movie. A feat followed by its Spiritual Successor, Hannah Montana

Now has a Character page.

This show provides examples of:

  • Absentee Actor: Lalaine left the show towards the end of its run (in production, not broadcast order), and gets various excuses for missing episodes.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: An interesting example of this one. Instead of using the original opening, the Japanese dub uses a dubbed version of "I Can't Wait" sung by Chieko Kawabe.
  • Acting for Two: Duff plays Lizzie and Isabella in the movie.
  • Adults Are Useless: Averted in a few places (usually with Jo), particuarly "Lizzie's Eleven".
  • An Aesop: Delivered at the end of each episode.
  • Alpha Bitch: Played ludicrously straight with evil head cheerleader Kate.
    • Complete with Girl Posse, right down to having a second-in-command who's even more of an Alpha Bitch than she is.
      • Just to elaborate on the point above. When Kate broke her leg and her second in command took her position at the top, she banned non popular girls from using the bathrooms, and wouldn't let non popular students use tables for lunch forcing them to sit on the grass.......all of which could have been avoided if they told a teacher, she was doing it to every kid in school not just Lizzie, the teachers would have believed half the student body complaining about the same girl. She does this to Kate as well. Once Kate recovers though the second in command breaks her leg, but Kate treats her no differently.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: It varied from episode to episode, but Lizzie's parents would sometimes qualify for this trope depending on their actions, though Jo was usually embarrassing for being overly motherly while Sam was more consistently embarrassing for just being himself.
  • Animation Bump: Animated Lizzie gets one in the feature film, as compared to her appearance in the series.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Matt.
  • Art Evolution: Lizzie's animated alter ego changed a lot as time went on. She started out as a sketch that a first-grader could draw and then evolved into her final form, which while simplistic, is leagues ahead of where she started.
  • Big Bad: Kate at first, though in the movie she had a Heel-Face Turn and the role is taken over by Paolo Valisari.
  • Black Hole Belly: Toon Lizzie has been seen swallowing some pretty big (to her) food items whole without any change to her size except for maybe a split second of Dinner Deformation on occasion.
  • Brainless Beauty: Ethan is the handsome target of affection for every girl in school, and is buffoonish to the point of being a Cloudcuckoolander, complete with "wooshing" sound-effects when he says dumb things.
  • Broken Treasure: Subverted in that Mom had broken the treasure years earlier.
  • Bumbling Dad: Sam, a lot of the time. He has his moments, and isn't a Jerkass like many sitcom dads are, but he's a gnome-collecting doofus who has no concept of teenage issues.
  • The Butler Did It: A Discussed Trope in "Clue-Less", the episode where Lizzie has a Whodunit murder mystery party.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Gordo likes Lizzie. If only he could tell her.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Lizzie and Gordo have been friends since they were one day old. The series finale and The Movie both imply that Gordo does in fact get the girl.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Danny Kessler, the original "hottie" character, was in only two episodes after the pilot. He and his replacement, Ethan Craft, even appear in one episode together (in which the latter is introduced for the first time, and his "wannabe gangsta" traits are played up a lot more). He then vanishes without a trace, though he is randomly name-dropped in the movie, two years later.
    • On the show, Matt's best friend was Lanny while Melina was a minor Recurring Character. In the movie, Lanny is gone and Melina seems to have replaced him.
  • Cool Loser: Lizzie isn't supposed to be ugly, but she's considered a loser. Roger Ebert laughed at this in his review of the film, wondering how someone with a smile that shines brighter than all the stars in the sky could be unpopular.
    • The show once explained that Lizzie and Miranda are losers because they developed later than the other girls. The friends that developed early turned on them.
  • Comically Missing the Point: (in a later episode than the "Funny Aneurysm" Moment):
    Gordo: Besides, I'm more into those classy European types of girls anyway.
    Ethan: Oh, you mean like Britney Spears?
  • Compressed Vice: Several, most notably Miranda's eating disorder, which consisted of skipping lunch.
  • Costume Porn: Lizzie and Isabella in The Movie
  • Credit Card Plot: Gordo gets one...and tries to make a "big budget" movie with a $5,000 line of credit.
  • Dark Horse Victory: An election between rivals Lizzie and Claire and icky geek Tudgeman...who do you think wins?
  • Deadpan Snarker: Most to all of the characters have their fair share, but this is practically the reason Animated-Lizzie exists.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Kate in The Movie, in which she was built up to more-or-less replace Miranda.
  • She has a few moments in the series as well. Most notably when she is paired with Lizzie for a school project. The two wonder what happened to their relationship. In the end nothing changes in these episodes.
  • Dojikko: Lizzie, strangely enough for a North American series. This was flanderized in the movie.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Gordo's roleplaying game experience, which is treated like a drug addiction, complete with an "intervention" from his friends.
  • Doomed New Clothes: In one episode where Lizzie bought expensive jeans and spilled smoothie all over them, ruining her plans to return them after the school's "Best Dressed" contest.
    • Also in "Picture Day", you know after angsting on whether to wear her new blouse or her grandma's hideous sweater that that new blouse is going down in a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Double Vision: Hilary Duff performs a duet with herself in The Movie, playing both Lizzie and Isabella.
  • Dresses the Same: Miranda and Kate where the same outfit in "Picture Day", thus precipitating the Doomed New Clothes above.
  • Extraverted Nerd: Lawrence "Larry" Tudgeman III.
  • Follow the Leader: Every single Disney Channel original sitcom owes its existence to this show's success.
  • Former Friend of Alpha Bitch: Lizzie and Kate. Actually addressed in a late season one episode when the two work together on a school project.
    • Actually Lizzie mentions that she used to be friends with Kate in the pilot but "then she grew breasts" and blew her off. This fact is not pointed out very often afterwards.
  • Fourth Wall Mail Slot: Utilized in commercials.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: Lizzie and Matt switch bodies for a day.
  • Full Name Ultimatum: During an episode where Lizzie wanted to go to Kate's unsupervised birthday party, Lizzie's mom uses it on her.
    Jo: Elizabeth Brooke McGuire!!
  • Garage Band: Matt once started one for a subplot.
  • Golden Moment: Sometimes occurs in the more Anvilicious episodes.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Since it's Disney we're talking.
    Miranda: Parker is such a witch...
  • Greek Chorus: The Ani-Lizzie.
  • Guilty Pleasures: Clover and Daisy is a guilty pleasure to Miranda and Lizzie.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Lizzie, being a young, kind Naïve Everygirl.
  • Hidden Depths: Kate. One episode revolves around her and Lizzie having to work together and it lead to them remembering they used to be good friends. At the end of the episode Kate and Lizzie smile at each other briefly. While Kate doesn't stop being The Alpha Bitch, we do see her have some nice moments with Lizzie over the course of the series and The Movie.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: At the end of every episode. Cartoon Lizzie always gets one made too.
  • Hong Kong Dub: Parodied when Matt and Gordo make an audition tape for being in the new Jet Li film.
  • Hormone-Addled Teenager: And you're watching Disney Channel!
  • Idol Singer: Hilary Duff. This show started the long trend of the Disney Channel using its live-action shows as vehicles for its Idol Singers.
    • Image Song: A Western example being "I Can't Wait".
    • Lalaine also ventured into a singing career, recording an album, Inside Story, a few singles and some unreleased material.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Kate is portrayed as being the Queen Bee of the school, and much is made of her "bustiness". In a show like this, she's not any more attractive than most background girls.
    • Also Ethan Kraft.
  • Instant Web Hit
  • Ironic Name: In "Bad Girl McGuire", Lizzie is led astray by a Goth girl named "Angel". The video Gordo and Miranda make for Lizzie's intervention Lampshades this, referring to her as "a devil named Angel".
  • Just a Stupid Accent: When Lizzie goes to Rome in The Movie, we learn that Italians all speak English with Italian accents. They even perform pop musical numbers in English. So did the Italian audience spend the whole "What Dreams Are Made Of" number wondering what on earth Lizzie and Isabella were singing about?
  • Just Friends: Gordo to Oblivious to Love Lizzie. She's so oblivious it takes The Alpha Bitch informing her before she realises.
  • Kids Shouldn't Watch Horror Films: Matt gets scared watching a horror film, though it happens with his parents present. He ends up trying to Feng Shui the house to get rid of evil spirits.
  • Last Minute Hookup: Lizzie and Gordo got to have their kiss in the last scene of The Movie.
  • Leitmotif: Whenever Matt is the focus of a scene, the same cheery, bouncy melody can be heard in the background.
  • Lighter and Softer: The first season was comparatively edgy for a Disney show, with more cynical humor and a lot of references to puberty and the Alpha Bitch's chest size. Afterwords, it settled into the family-friendlyness Disney Channel is better known for.
  • Little Boy Seeks Big Girl: Matt towards Miranda in "Working Girl".
  • Love Makes You Dumb: Miranda in "Movin' On Up".
  • MacGuffin: Lampshaded. The murdered character in the Whodunit episode is named "Lord MacGuffin".
  • Manipulative Bastard: Kate can manipulate boys into doing anything.
  • The Merch: Fortune magazine estimated in 2003 that Lizzie McGuire merchandise had earned the Walt Disney Co. nearly $100 million! That's from Radio Disney's big CD promotion, books based on the episodes being sold, mystery books starring Lizzie (much in the same vein as the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen mystery books), Tokyo POP manga adaptations, bed sheets, Barbie dolls, board games, and The Movie.
  • Mickey Mousing: Often goofy sound effects and musical stings in the background are syncopated with the actors' gestures and movements for comedic effect.
  • Misblamed: For being the first Disney Channel sitcom. It is true that it's the first and the key show that catapulted Disney Channel to overnight success...only to be lost by That's So Raven, which stole almost all of its thunder.
    • Many people like to point to Even Stevens, which started a year before either show, as the transition point from old Disney Channel to new Disney Channel.
  • The Movie
  • Montages: Once an Episode. Usually a pop song with some relevance to the action at hand would play over the montage.
  • Mustache Vandalism: Discussed when the cast gets issued their school yearbooks. Gordo rhetorically asks his friends what the first thing anyone does with their new yearbook is. Miranda and Lizzie say it's to draw a mustache on the gym teacher.
  • Mysterious Woman: In "Just Friends", Ethan reveals that women who follow this trope are his type.
  • Naive Every Girl: Lizzie.
  • Nice Jewish Boy: Gordo.
  • Not Important to This Episode Camp: Miranda gets plenty of excuses for not being in the last few eps (Once she was "visiting her Grandma". Another time she was "sick")... but gets fully Put on a Bus in The Movie, with Lizzie saying she's off visiting family in Mexico rather than going on the school trip.
  • Oblivious to Love: Seriously? Lizzie. It's ridiculous that it takes her until the Whodunit episode to figure out Gordo loves her. And she needs to have it spelled out to her by Kate of all people.
  • Once an Episode: Subtle, but for whatever reason Miranda wears some article of clothing (usually a shirt) with a British flag on it at some point in every episode.
  • Our Founder: Lizzie's school has a bust of the first principal, which Kate wrecks in the episode "You're a Good Man, Lizzie McGuire".
  • Parental Bonus: A surprisingly large number of these.
  • The Plan: Lizzie and her friends are actually joined by her mom to pull off a surprisingly masterful one in "Lizzie's Eleven".
  • Popular Is Dumb: Ethan, and to a lesser extent Kate. It's revealed in one episode that Kate got held back because she somehow flunked kindergarten.
    • Two drones Kate had in one episode left her because they were so stupid they thought Kate had wet herself even when they saw the drink splash on her.
  • Power Trio: Miranda=Id, Gordo=Superego, and Lizzie=Ego.
  • Put on a Bus: Miranda in The Movie.
  • New Job Episode
  • The Rashomon: The food fight episode.
  • Raw Eggs Make You Stronger: Lizzie's mother serves her glasses of raw eggs as she trains for a rhythmic gymnastics competition, but Lizzie dumps the eggs into a frying pan instead of drinking them.
  • "Risky Business" Dance: In Episode 10 of Season 1.
  • Romantic False Lead:
    • In the movie, Paolo.
    • Also, Ronnie the paperboy. This is before Lizzie and Gordo were an Official Couple.
  • Sequel Non-Entity: Miranda is missing from several of the last episodes of the series, and is only mentioned in passing as being "in Mexico with her family" during The Movie.
  • Series Fauxnale: "Bye Bye Hillridge Junior High" and The Lizzie McGuire Movie showed Lizzie and Gordo graduate middle school and grow closer romantically, but since Disney Channel aired several of their shows' episodes at this time in an order that often differed drastically from the production order, ten more episodes aired afterward. (This was likely done to conceal Miranda being Put on a Bus.)
  • Shaking Her Hair Loose: In the murder mystery episode, Larry starts chatting up Veruca, both of them dressed in Edwardian era clothes. Veruca shakes her hair down as some faux-dramatic music plays.
  • Silent Bob: Lanny. The only times he ever talks are when he's on the phone and even then we never hear his side of the conversation.
    • Lampshaded once:
      Matt: Lanny's not talking to me.
      Sam: How can you tell?
  • Single Girl Seeks Most Popular Guy: Lizzie and Miranda are totally gaga for Ethan Kraft, whose most positive quality (other than being attractive and popular) is that he's more of an idiot than a jerk.
  • Snapback: It seems that every two episodes Lizzie finds out Gordo likes her, but in the next episode she goes back to being completely oblivious.
  • Suck E. Cheese's: Sort of, a western-themed tourist trap called Grubby Longjohn's Western Emporium.
  • Straw Loser: One of Lalaine's reasons for leaving the show.
  • Split-Screen Phone Call: A three-way variant with Lizzie, Miranda and Gordo.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: In "Bad Girl McGuire", Lizzie developed this towards Angel.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Ethan Kraft replaced Danny Kessler as the popular guy the girls fawn over. A bit of an odd example since, as mentioned above, Danny and Ethan appeared together in an early episode where the latter was presented as a Jerk Jock and so later got hit with some Characterization Marches On to fit Danny's role.
  • Technology Marches On: In an earlier episode, Matt and Lanny try to raise the money to buy ninety-dollar walkie-talkies. A floppy disk and a VHS tape make appearances in the same episode.
    • Throughout the series, Lizzie, Miranda, and Gordo have landlines in their bedrooms rather than cell phones.
    • In Rumors, Lizzie and Miranda are chatting on a fake ICQ client while using Windows 98!
    • In "Lizzie and Kate's Big Adventure", Lizzie and Kate have to go to an Internet café in order to get DSL.
  • ¡Three Amigos!
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Kate prior to the start of the series as it's implied by her previous friendship with Lizzie that she was much nicer before hitting puberty and hanging out with the popular kids.
  • Totally Radical: Most of the kids indulged in this. Not to mention the veritable deluge of references to early-2000s celebrities and music.
  • Trope Maker: For the Disney Channel Kidcom formula. Something of an Unbuilt Trope as well, since Lizzie McGuire lacks many elements of the formula, most notably a Laugh Track or a High Concept premise.
  • Two Girls and a Guy: With Lizzie and Gordo ending up together, and no Love Triangle involved.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: Matt would always have a sub-plot in every episode that didn't involve him the A-plot; usually he would drag his parents along for the ride.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe
    • Except Tudgeman. And animated Lizzie.
    • Lampshaded (kinda) in the movie, when Kate accuses Lizzie of being an "outfit repeater".
  • Unrequited Love Switcheroo: A few lines on the show and commercial spots stated that Lizzie had a crush on Gordo when they were in the fourth grade. Come junior high, Gordo is the one crushing on Lizzie, who instead has other crushes on her mind.
  • Very Special Episode: One dealing with Miranda's weight problem.
  • Walk On The Wild Side Episode
  • With a Friend and a Stranger: Lizzie (the main character), Gordo (the childhood friend and Love Interest of Lizzie) and Miranda (the stranger).
  • Women Are Wiser: Jo is much more savvy and wise to her kids' games than poor Sam is. Lizzie even says once "Come on- we're just fooling dad here! It's not like we're fooling mom!"
    • Inverted in one episode where Sam manages to get Lizzie to open up to him, which Jo has trying trying and failing at doing, by sitting there and letting her talk. It's meant as an aesop for Jo who learns she has to listen to whats wrong with her daughter rather than 'telling' her whats wrong with her "with words like 'Hormones'".
    • Inverted quite a lot when it comes to Lizze, Miranda and Gordo. Quite often it is the boy Gordo who is wiser than the girls, is often shown to be more mature and is above caring what others think of his tastes.
  • You Go Girl: "One of the Guys", when Lizzie turns out to be really good at flag football.

Teamo SupremoOne Saturday MorningEven Stevens
Life With DerekDom ComLove American Style
Liv and MaddieCreator/Disney ChannelMighty Med
Even StevensTurnOfTheMillennium/Live-Action TVThat's So Raven
Living SingleAmerican SeriesLois and Clark

alternative title(s): Lizzie Mc Guire
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