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Princess Protection Program is a Disney Channel original movie starring Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato. When a tiny country is caught in a power struggle with its royal family and a militaristic dictator, General Kane, who wants power for himself, the young Princess Rosalinda (Lovato) is taken into custody by the Princess Protection Program. She is whisked away to rural Louisiana where she must learn the ins and outs of behaving like a normal American teenager. In the process of adapting to her new life, Rosie gives her new friend and roommate, Carter (Gomez), a few lessons in how to act with royal aplomb.

Tropes present in this movie:

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  • Abdicate the Throne: Queen Sofía is planning to step down from the throne following her husband’s death, making Rosie her successor.
  • Alliterative Title: Princess Protection Program.
  • All-Loving Hero: Rosie, who's been raised to do what's best for her country and her people, even if it means to bring a sacrifice herself. She also has quite a talent for social situations, winning her classmates as easily over as small children and old ladies, all of whom are enchanted with her.
  • Alpha Bitch: Chelsea, a very pretty and colossally mean girl who is so obsessively hungry for attention that she has to constantly bully Carter and Rosie whenever there's a hint that someone could like them, and she apparently can boss just about everyone around, not to speak of literally kicking people. Later in the movie though, her enormous influence on the other students crumbles.
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  • Ambiguously Gay: Señor Elegante, the young fashion designer who works at Rosalinda's court, behaves in a very camp-y manner, but when he talks about "his Princesa", he sounds more than just a little smitten.
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: General Kane tries to force Rosalinda's mother to marry him. This is not out of any romantic interest, but merely as a ploy to lure Rosalinda out of hiding; he doesn't actually want to marry her at all.
  • Backstabbing the Alpha Bitch: Near the end, Chelsea's Girl Posse, including her second-in-command, Brooke, decide they've had it with Chelsea's bad attitude and hang out with Carter and Rosie.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: In a way. At the prom, a soaking wet and angry Chelsea still manages to take back "her" Prom Queen crown from Carter and Rosie, despite her obvious humiliation. Rosie tries to stop her but Carter tells her to let it go. It's not that much of a victory, as Chelsea has pretty much fallen from grace in the eyes of all of the school, and Carter really doesn't need a crown for her self-esteem to function.
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  • Banana Republic: General Kane's dominion of Costa Estrella, into which he hopes to absorb the Kingdom of Costa Luna.
  • Beta Bitch: Brooke is this to Chelsea, though she doesn't seem to be too malicious by default, just comfortable to follow a leader and kind of dumb. She abandons the role near the end, leaving Chelsea on her own.
  • Betty and Veronica: Carter (the Betty) hopelessly competes with Chelsea (the Veronica) over Donny (the Archie) over the course of the film.
  • Big Bad: General Kane, military dictator of the Republic of Costa Estrella, aims to conquer the Kingdom of Costa Luna for himself, and is the reason Rosalinda is forced to flee her country.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Major Mason, both at the beginning of the movie when General Kane invades Costa Luna and later at the school prom when Kane tries to abduct Rosalinda.
  • Bilingual Bonus: There are no subtitles for Rosie's conversation with the French teacher. Of course, she uses relatively simple French, such that anyone who's taken French lessons but isn't fluent should be able to understand, or even anyone who's taken a similar language.
  • Book on the Head: Parodied — Rosie wants to prove to Carter that being royalty isn't just showing off. Carter goes along with it, learns how to act like royalty, including walking and balancing a book on her head. When she states she just can't believe princesses have to do this, Rosie bursts into laughter and admits she actually never had to do this sort of thing; she was just pulling Carter's leg.
  • Burping Contest: Carter and Rosie have one, showing how used Rosie has gotten to life as a "commoner" and as a sign of their comradeship on equal grounds.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Señor Elegante, who is introduced early in the movie as Rosalinda's royal dress maker. Carter later contacts him because she needs his help with her plan to prevent General Kane from capturing Rosie.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Chelsea is this whenever Donny talks with Carter or spends his time looking over at the new girl Rosie.
  • Cool Loser: Carter is pretty, even before she puts on a ballgown, quite a witty girl, and seems to be liked well enough at her school. The sole justification why she's considered a loser by the upper elite of students is her unglamourous job as the bait shop salesgirl and that she doesn't put too much effort into her everyday looks.
  • Cunning Linguist: Rosie, who speaks English, French, Italian, Spanish and Japanese fluently.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Carter, though she's not nice about it at first.
    Rosie: *about the Homecoming prom queen* You vote for royalty here?
    Carter: We're a democracy; we're into voting.
  • Did You Think I Can't Feel?: It's not until Carter arrives at the dance in a beautiful dress that Donny finally notices her. She chews him out for it — "Before I put on this dress, you couldn't even remember my name" — and turns him down to go dancing with Ed and her friends.
    • Chelsea gets one of these as well, from Brooke of all people, who has grown sick of Chelsea's being mean and bossy all the time.
  • Disappeared Dad: Rosie's father died sometime before the events of the movie.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The climax happens because Chelsea, the Alpha Bitch, finally figures out who "Rosie" is and calls General Kane to come get her so he can remove one less obstacle from her path to maintaining Queen Bee status. Good thing it's a Disney Channel film.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Ed to Carter until the end, because Carter has mostly eyes for Donny. Ed keeps being her best friend all the time, supporting her on every turn, and Carter eventually realizes that he's a way nicer guy than Donny.
  • Dull Surprise: Compared to her acting in Wizards of Waverly Place, Selena Gomez did not seem to be having much fun with her role in this movie.
  • Eating Lunch Alone: Rosie on her first school day, until Carter's sympathy gets the better of her and she sits with Rosie and explains her a few essential things.
  • Everything's Better with Princesses: Rosalinda, the numerous other princesses from all around the world whom she encounters at the PPP, and at High School, she, Carter, and Chelsea are crowned Homecoming Princesses. Chelsea is the only one of them who puts a real value on the crown and title itself, whereas Rosie knows very well that there's a lot of duty and responsibility to being a princess.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: In addition to the odd choice of making Rosie's homeland Spanish-speaking, she reverts to Spanish at times when it makes absolutely no sense to do so (e.g., asking Carter where the bathroom is).
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: While evil General Kane is being arrested, Carter's dad asks General Kane how does it feel to be stopped and defeated by a sixteen year old girl. His response: "Not so hot."
  • Harmless Villain: He probably wasn't supposed to be this, but can anyone really take General Kane seriously? Sure, he shows that he's a cunning villain, but he doesn't really seem to do anything threatening!
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Louisiana seems like a pretty obvious place to hide a princess, but that's the whole point!
  • Honorary Princess: Chelsea, Rosalinda and Carter become the three finalists for the Queen contest of the homecoming dance, and receive princesses' tiaras. Chelsea doesn't deserve hers much, and Rosie was already a princess by birth. So, she helps Carter to have the princess attitude, and at the dance, Carter goes so far as trying to sacrifice her freedom in exchange for Rosalinda's. The latter affirms that, with this heroic act, Carter became a real princess.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: Though Carter openly dislikes Rosalinda and picks on her, she does not like it one bit when Chelsea and her mean girl posse humiliate Rosie by having her work at a yogurt shop "for losers", causing Carter to seek retaliation by shoving a frozen yogurt onto the hair of Chelsea's cameraboy for filming Rosie's humiliation.
  • Important Haircut: Rosalinda gets one early in the movie as a part of her transformation to a common American schoolgirl. She mourns the loss of her Rapunzel Hair quite a bit.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: General Kane tosses his rapier straight at Rosalinda's crown, pinning it to the pillar behind her — note that the crown was already on Rosalinda's head, still held by the hands of the official who crowned her, and that Kane stood at a place and angle where nobody in the court room could even see him coming in.
  • Interclass Friendship: Rosalinda as a Princess of a small nation and Carter the bait shop salesgirl.
  • Jerkass: Several.
    • Carter at first as she is quite condescending to Rosie for her lack of knowledge and her Innocently Insensitive attitude, not to mention her extreme prejudices against anything associated with princesses.
    • Chelsea, who humiliates Rosie and ruins her and Carter's prom dresses, treats her co-students like her personal slaves, tries to make the prom all about staging her big entrance, and eventually blackmails Rosie.
    • Donny, who easily goes along with all of Chelsea's behavior and asks Rosie out in front of Carter while he knows perfectly well that Carter has had a crush on him for years. He also takes fish bait for free from Carter but then doesn't keep his end of the bargain they'd agreed on, to take Carter to school in his car.
  • Large Ham: General Magnus Kane, big time, with exaggerated pronounciation and dramatic gestures every single second he's on-screen. His attempts at grandeur make it hard to take him seriously.
  • Laughably Evil: Magnus Kane again. He sure accomplishes a military coup in Costa Luna, but his over-the-top manners and his rather immature fantasizing about people worshipping him makes him come across like a self-deluded moron.
  • Love Triangle: Carter, Donny, and Rosie. Despite Carter's interest in Donny, he shamelessly attempts to charm Rosie and openly flirts with her and to make matters worst, asks Rosie to go to the dance with him instead of Carter while Carter is standing right next to her. Though surprised by this sudden offer, Rosie willingly turns him down for Carter's sake.
    Rose: *to Carter* [Donny] is very special to you. I see the way you look at him. It's the same way that Ed looks at you.
    • Also, from the beginning of the film, Carter has to (unsuccessfully) compete against mean girl Chelsea for the affections of Donny, who doesn't even remember her name nor even bother to stand up for her when Chelsea picks on her.
  • Masquerade Ball: The homecoming dance was not originally supposed to be one of these, but Carter manages to turn it into one as part of her plan to protect Rosie.
  • Missing Mom: Carter's mother is never so much as mentioned.
  • The Mountains of Louisiana: The movie was filmed on the mountainous island of Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, it takes place in Louisiana, where any hills in proximity to a bayou rise no higher than about 10 feet (3 meters).
  • No Dress Code: Shows up on the prom, only with Chelsea as the other girls are dressed just fine, but with her, it's really extreme: She wears a strapless pink mini-dress, so mini that the skirt doesn't reach even halfway to her knees, and the top part barely holds her bust. This is supposed to be a sixteen-year-old girl.note  Even for a prom, there are certain lines a High School would draw.
  • No Social Skills: Rosalinda was raised by royalty and as a result doesn't know anything about how American teens act.
  • Princesses Prefer Pink: This actually becomes a plot point.
  • Relatively Flimsy Excuse: Carter is told to pretend that Rosalinda/Rosie is her cousin.
  • Satellite Love Interest: So why exactly is Carter into Donny? He turns out to be a Romantic False Lead anyway; Carter realizes that he's a dull boor and gets over him.
  • Sheltered Aristocrat: Rosie, as shows when she's confronted with everyday High School life and for the first time rides a school bus, eats in a cafeteria, and initially has the attitude that the school employees are "her staff". She can also be way obnoxious about this; she seems really confused about the idea to share a bedroom with Carter, rather than her having a claim on that room that is Carter's to begin with... not to mention she seems to expect Carter to wait on her. Once made aware of it, she actively works on the issue though, accompanying Carter to bowling and taking on a job.
  • Ship Tease: A little bit between Major Mason and Roslinda's mother; she opens up to him about her worries regarding her daughter, and later gives Rosie to his care, apparently fully trusting him.
  • Theme Naming: Costa Luna and Costa Estrella mean "Moon Coast" and "Star Coast", respectively.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Carter, who works at the bait shop, mostly runs around in old jeans and a basecap, and whose manners need some polishing, and Rosie, who has excellent manners, even in her civil alias nearly always wears dresses, has never done physical work in her entire life, and gets a bit of a panic about having a haircut.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Scenes of Rosie's coronation at the end were featured in the main trailer as well as certain promos. Even the image for the box art (as seen above) shows Rosie as queen.
  • Turn the Other Cheek: According to Rosie, this is one of the principles by which a princess is supposed to live, which she demonstrates when she doesn't lash out against Chelsea for humiliating her. Carter, on the other hand, isn't having any of that, aptly pointing out that she isn't a princess.

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