YMMV / Pride and Prejudice

  • Adaptation Displacement:
    • The 1995 miniseries to a certain degree, especially within the fandom itself. While everyone still knows it was a book first, the miniseries is so faithful that the instances of Fanon (e.g. the "shelves in the closet" joke) get frequently treated like canon.
    • A couple people heard about it (or became aware of its plot) through the game, although part of it might have been because Aglefumph, who Let's Play'd it twice, has a lot of followers.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • A fair few feminist critics of the book posit Elizabeth as being just as materialistic as any of the less sympathetic characters by focusing on her feelings for Darcy changing as she visits his magnificent estate. (Considering that, during this retelling, Jane immediately thereafter entreats her to please be serious, these critics may have missed the mark, or at least the humor- especially as Lizzie may have referred to the fact that said estate was well-organized and full of servants gushing over Mr. Darcy, which indeed was a turning point for her.)
    • There are also some who wonder if Mrs Bennett really deserves as much scorn as Lizzy throws on her. While she's incredibly embarrassing, it should be noted that she's trying to make sure her daughters have a roof over their heads when Mr Bennett dies.
    • Some adaptations portray Mary in a much more sympathetic light, emphasizing her plainness and bookwormishness compared to her more attractive and outgoing sisters. Even amongst those who have only read the book, Mary has a sizable fanbase. The 2005 adaptation gives a few hints that she falls for Mr. Collins during his stay. The 1940 film ends with her being wooed by a clerk from the bookstore she is first seen in at the beginning of the movie - and he accompanies her on the flute as she sings!
    • Depending on the writer/director, Mr Collins ranges from "awkward and stupid but sincere" (2005 movie) to "probably some kind of sexual predator" (Lost in Austen).
    • The 2005 adaptation in general softens the edge on most of the cast, giving Mr. and Mrs. Bennet a few Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other moments, lessening Mr. Collins' sliminess, and presenting Mr. Darcy as shy, rather than snobby.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Mr Darcy is an unusual example of this trope. The point of the story is to not judge by first impressions alone, and Elizabeth does discover that Darcy can be a genuinely decent and noble person once she manages to look past the unfavourable view she initially developed of him. However, many readers tend to extrapolate this to view Darcy as a borderline saint who was always completely misunderstood and perfect. In fact, Darcy himself admits that many of Elizabeth's initial criticisms of his character were, in fact, entirely justified — he genuinely could be a bit of a cold, unpleasant snob (albeit not nearly the hateful bastard that Elizabeth had convinced herself she was) and had to do plenty of soul-searching and improvement of his character in order to become a man worthy of her affections.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Even those that groan at reading the book, nay even some haters, love Mr. Bennet and his snark.
  • Epileptic Trees: Although not really present in the original novel, some later adaptations tend to run with the idea that Mary was secretly in love with Mr. Collins. However, unfortunately for her he was Oblivious to Love and too occupied in punching over his weight in chasing after Elizabeth to notice. Considering the personalities of the respective characters, this isn't an implausible idea even in the text of the novel: it is said that Mary appreciates Mr. Collins more than the rest, and there is a brief moment, after Elizabeth's rejection, when it is thought that Mr. Collins would propose to Mary, who was not opposed to the possibility.
  • Fair for Its Day: Though Austen was hardly a socio-political radical, she showed a great deal of flexibility toward the idea of class, with several characters that subvert their societal roles. And while she suggested no alternative lifestyle choices, Charlotte's pragmatic choice and Lydia's bought-and-sold marriage rather bluntly illustrate the dependence and limitations placed on women of the time.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Darcy's and Elizabeth's debate about the dangers and merits of yielding to persuasion — emphasis Elizabeth's.
    • The 1995 mini-series with Jennifer Ehle (Lizzy) and Colin Firth (Darcy) became this after The King's Speech, where Ehle plays the wife of George VI's (Firth) therapist. They have one scene together, where Ehle's character's eyes bug out over seeing the royal couple in her home.
    • In the 2005 adaptation, Carey Mulligan plays ditzy younger sister Kitty and Rosamund Pike portrays intelligent, if overly-trusting, eldest sister Jane. However, in An Education, Mulligan is Oxford-bound Brainy Brunette Jenny, while Pike plays Dumb Blonde Helen.
    • Also in the 2005 adaptation, Jena Maloney plays Lydia and Donald Sutherland plays Mr. Bennet... Jena plays Johanna Mason in Catching Fire, and Sutherland plays President Snow.
    • The existence of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, where the the Bennet sisters are reimagined as zombie hunters, can make the 2005 film amusing to watch, since most of the leading actresses have prominent Action Girl roles: Keira Knightley (Lizzie) in Pirates of the Caribbean, King Arthur and Domino, Rosamund Pike (Jane) in Die Another Day and Wrath of the Titans, and Jena Malone (Lydia) in Sucker Punch and The Hunger Games. What's more is that Lady Catherine is imagined as the head of a zombie fighting organisation, and her actress in the 2005 film, Judi Dench, is best known as M in the James Bond films.
    • Another for the 2005 film - specifically Lizzy turning down Mr Collins. Repeatedly. In Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest the two actors star together, where Tom Hollander stops Keira Knightley's wedding and has her arrested.
  • Hollywood Homely:
    • In the 2005 version, the plain, bookish Mary is played by Talulah Riley... one of St Trinian's hottest Fille Fatales.
    • On the other hand, Charlotte averts this in the 2005 version (in which she is played by Claudie Blakley); while she wouldn't crack any mirrors, her face isn't one anyone would reliably call pretty. Lucy Scott in the 1995 miniseries, however, is decidedly more attractive than her book counterpart.
  • Ho Yay: Darcy and Bingley. Even Elizabeth notices.
  • It Was His Sled: The BBC America trailer for the 1995 miniseries starts by showing the wedding and stating "We know how it ends..."
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Misaimed Fandom:
  • Retroactive Recognition: Carey Mulligan as Kitty and Jena Malone as Lydia in the 2005 film.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Watching the 1995 miniseries repeatedly reveals a number of subtle and excellent touches from the actors, often in Facial Dialogue and Meaningful Looks.
  • Ron the Death Eater: As mentioned above, some modern-day critics seize on Elizabeth's comment that her feelings for Darcy changed after seeing his grand estate as evidence that she is selfish, materialistic and shallow — ignoring that, in context, she is clearly making a joke. Not to mention, in the book, when she first sees the estate, she comments to herself that it all could've been hers had she married Darcy... and then promptly reminds herself that she doesn't like him and considers him to be a massive prick, so she's glad she turned him down, estate or no estate. (There is also the fact that the gushing servants and obviously well-kept estate convince Lizzie that perhaps Mr. Darcy is not quite as bad as she thought and the letter in which he detailed his side of the Wickam-story may be really true.)
  • The Scrappy: Lydia. Of course, you're not really supposed to like her, Lydia being a horrible, shallow Spoiled Brat and all.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: Part of the reason it has such a bad reputation; many high schoolers are forced to read the most generic and archetypical romantic comedy of them all...except it's the Ur-Example or at least the Trope Codifier.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Austen probably didn't expect Mary to get as much sympathy as she does. Of course, she probably also didn't expect her future readers to be living in a world that in general has a bit more sympathy for people like Mary — i.e., introverted, bookish types who don't like balls. Especially since Mary's living in a world where she has no option but to get herself a husband, whereas today's readers (many of whom happen to be introverted, bookish types) have far more options in life (not to mention, far more ways to meet people than Mary would) and can't help but sympathize with someone who doesn't have the choices they do. Yeah, Mary's a bit of a jerk, but she's not a bad person. It's hard not to feel a tiny bit sorry for her.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • Despite Mr. Darcy instantly standing out as the richest and most handsome man at the ball when he first arrives in Hertfordshire, the ladies quickly lose interest because he's a haughty, brooding loner... which would only serve to augment, rather than diminish, his appeal today. Many a girl and many a woman swoons over Tall, Dark and Snarky men. Which explains why so many women today are in love with Darcy. That attitude started with Romanticism, which was in its early stages by the time Austen was writing. It wasn't mainstream yet, but even Austen has characters who express those feelings, such as Marianne from Sense and Sensibility (which is all about Romanticism Versus Enlightenment, represented by Marianne and Elinor respectively).
    • Charlotte's quick marriage to Mr. Collins. She can't stand him as a person, but her prospects are so poor (she's the ripe old age of 27 and only average if not plain in looks with little money) and his are so good that she accepts; these values seem rather off-putting to modern female readers. This is lampshaded by Austen through Lizzy, who is appalled that her best friend would stoop so low just to secure her own comfort. Charlotte was Austen's commentary on the plight of the average woman during the Regency, who would sadly often sell themselves to the highest bidder in an effort to avoid ending up on the streets or worse.
    • Everyone's reaction towards fifteen-year-old Lydia running off with late-twenties Wickham. Today, it would be more like "arrest that creeper!" But Lydia's family gets them quietly married so as not to arouse suspicion and gossip, which would have ruined the family. Darcy is ahead of the times by trying to get Lydia to leave Wickham when he first finds them, only arranging their marriage after she refuses to come to her senses and go home. (He also did manage to get his own sister away from Wickham.)
    • Part of the reason Mary has such a Misaimed Fandom is because of the range of things other characters get down on her for - everything from the truly obnoxious, like her moralizing lectures, to hogging the piano to...not being interested in balls. And this is used as grounds to say she's as bad as Lydia and Kitty. One has to consider, though, that balls were the primary way for young single people in the English countryside to meet and mingle (those in the city had other opportunities), and for girls like the Bennets who would be penniless upon their father's death if they didn't marry well, getting to know men at balls was crucial both for their own welfare and that of their family. So it was rather presumptuous of Mary not to at least make an effort to dance and socialize. (This is diminished in the 2005 film, where she genuinely makes an effort to practice music and sing at Bingley's ball and ends up humiliating herself.) Modern introverted readers who've been mocked for not being outgoing tend to see themselves in Mary, and forget how different their situations are.
    • While Mrs. Bennet was always intended to come off as silly, she comes off as significantly more so to modern readers than she did to readers in Austen's time, when marrying well was actually essential to a woman's future financial security. This is especially true with the Bennet sisters, who would lose everything upon their father's death (since the home is passing to Mr. Collins) if they have not yet married. To put it in perspective, a modern analogue would be the "helicopter parents" who obsess over their kids getting into a good university.
    • Mr. Bennet states that Lizzy is the kind of woman who would not be happy in marriage unless she "looked up to [her husband] as a superior", and Lizzy assures him that she does see Mr. Darcy that way. Although this one does depend on whether you think they mean that Darcy is socially or emotionally superior to Lizzie in standing or import (as in, Darcy is superior to Lizzie), or rather that they mean that he'd appear so when compared to the rest of the men around (as in, Darcy is superior to any other man Lizzie might be interested in).
    • In these days when Tall, Dark and Snarky has become such a popular character type for male romantic leads, readers are likely to wonder just what Lizzie's problem with Darcy is, when at the time his wisecracks would just seem horribly rude. They also tend to overlook the fact that he insulted her personally; modern culture tends to position the Deadpan Snarker as a rather admirable character, but it's a different story when you're on the receiving end of his insults.
    • Those adaptations which don't just outright ignore the fact that Jane is supposed to be more beautiful than Lizzie tend to call on the values dissonance between Regency and modern standards of female beauty to play with it, by casting an actress who is beautiful in the classical sense favoured in the early nineteenth century (as typically found in Greco-Roman art) to play Jane while casting someone who is beautiful in a more modern sense to play Elizabeth.
  • Wangst: While her daughters do face ruin if they are unable to secure husbands, Mrs. Bennet's primary focus seems to be endless whining about how this will affect her.

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