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Film / The Princess Diaries

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Clarisse: You are Amelia Mignonette Thermopolis Renaldi, princess of Genovia.
Mia: Me, a princess? SHUT! UP!

Based on the book series of the same name, this pair of films, released in 2001 and 2004, stars Anne Hathaway in her Star-Making Role and Julie Andrews in her first Disney film since Mary Poppins.

Unpopular San Francisco high school student Amelia "Mia" Thermopolis (Hathaway) learns from her grandmother Clarisse (Andrews) that she's the princess of small European monarchy Genovia. Clarisse is currently serving as regent, but Mia will eventually have to rule. Mia struggles with her newfound status in every way, from learning royal manners, to navigating her high school (including managing her crush on popular guy Josh (Erik Van Detten) and dodging alpha cheerleader Lana (Mandy Moore)), to her longtime friendships with siblings Michael and Lilly (Robert Schwartzman and Heather Matarazzo). Fortunately, along for the ride are security chief Joe (Héctor Elizondo) and her trusty cat Fat Louie.


The second film, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, takes place a few years later, with Mia now having to contend with an obscure Genovian law that prevents her from taking the throne without a husband. Enter Nicholas Devereaux (Chris Pine), a young nobleman who seems to be trying to steal the throne from right under her nose...

Very little resembles the plot of the books. For the first film, much of the core plot from the first book does remain, however major changes were made to some plot points and characters or some of them were removed entirely. The sequel is in fact an entirely new creation: the only plot point from the books being used was Mia's mother marrying her teacher and having a baby with him. A 2-movie collection, containing both films, was released on Blu-ray Disc on May 15, 2012. The possibility of a third film has been buzzing since 2016.


This film series provides examples of:

  • Acquired Situational Narcissism:
    • Downplayed and subverted; Mia struggles with her unwanted new status throughout the first film.
    • The opportunity to go to a beach party with longtime-crush Josh distracts Mia from the fact that she had already promised to appear on best friend Lilly's TV show.
  • Actor Allusion:
  • Adaptational Attractiveness:
    • Mia in the book isn't quite attractive as Anne Hathaway is after the makeover. The later books make clear Mia is Beautiful All Along.
    • Grandmere is a chain-smoking old harridan in the books. In the film, she's Julie Andrews.
    • Lilly is played by Heather Matarazzo, in the book she has glasses, is pudgy, and has a faced described as looking like a pug.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • Phillipe Renaldo in the books was a Ladykiller in Love who Really Gets Around because Mia's mother refused to marry him, out of fear of being forced into the royal life. He also makes a series of bad judgments. In the movies, Phillipe was none of these things in life (though in fairness Helen actually did marry him, and they got divorced) and Mia mentions that he covered her school tuition and would send her nice presents.
    • Clarisse goes from Evil Matriarch and Manipulative Bastard to a Cool Old Lady.
    • While Lily is still a massive Soapbox Sadie, the movie toned her down a LOT. She's more loyal to Mia and is open about her Green-Eyed Monster tendencies, namely that Mia can create a lot of change with her status as a princess.
    • Josh Richter in the books was a Dumb Blonde who didn't even realize that Mia existed until she was outed as a princess. He gets a Pet the Dog moment in the film which then doubles as a Bait the Dog moment: when Mia is struggling as goalie in soccer, he gives her the advice to try and stay calm and not be scared of the ball.
  • Adaptational Location Change: The film is set in San Francisco and included quite a bit of on-location footage, while the original book series was set in New York City.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job:
    • Mia in the books is a dirty blonde, and has it cut short and dyed a lighter blonde during her makeover. Movie Mia is brunette with frizzy shoulder-length hair, which gets straightened during the Makeover Montage.
    • Also Fat Louie, who is orange in the books but black-and-white in the movies.
  • Adapted Out: A lot of characters from the books don't make it to the films, such as Mia's bodyguard Lars, Mia's dad, and some of her friends: Tina, Perrin and Ling Su. In the books, it was mentioned that Tina's Overprotective Dad didn't want her featured and threatened to sue unless she was taken out.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • Paolo, who was merely Mia's hair stylist and her occasional confidante in the books, outs her as a princess for some money and the glory of having done her stunning makeover.
    • Lana Weinberger doesn't get the redeeming moments that she earns later in the series, with befriending Mia after Michael breaks up with the latter and Mia suffers a Trauma Conga Line as a result and Mia realizing that Lana is just a shallower version of Lilly , in that she makes insulting remarks because she thinks she's funny.
  • Advertised Extra: Raven-Symoné as Asana in the sequel. She only really plays a major role in the opening party and at the sleepover.
  • Adults Are Useless: Played with. While the adults at Mia's school don't punish the kids for bullying her, the adults are at least shown to be on her side throughout the whole thing. This is showed best at the beach party scene, the baseball scene, and the scene when Mia cones Lana and the teachers refuse to discipline Mia for it.
  • All There in the Script: Charlotte's last name, Kutaway.
  • Amicable Exes: It is made very clear that Mia's parents broke up due to the complexity of the situation, not because they ever stopped loving one another.
    Helen: (to Clarise with a slight tear in her eye) Even though things didn't work out between us, I want you to know I loved your son very much.
  • Artifact Title: The movies lose the diary format the books are written in. Mia has a diary of low plot importance, making the title technically applicable, but not really.
  • Artists Are Attractive: Micheal is introduced playing in a band
  • Attention Whore: Josh is this in the film. He is considered a showoff, and he even goes as far as to humiliate Mia for his 15 minutes of fame.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: Mia takes her place and is crowned as queen of Genovia at the end of the sequel.
  • Awkward Kiss:
    • Mia wants her first kiss to be an epic moment where her foot pops up like in old movies. Unfortunately, her foot gets stuck in fishing net on the floor of the shack they were hiding in, and she was with a Romantic False Lead. She gets her epic kiss once she realizes the right guy is her old friend.
    • The sequel has one as well, when Mia and Andrew try to kiss to see if they have any romantic chemistry at all. Cue extremely uncomfortable liplock and the realization that they are definitely Better as Friends.
  • Bait the Dog:
    • Josh has one Pet the Dog moment towards Mia, where he tries to give her advice on not being scared of soccer balls while she's playing goalie in recess. Then after he finds out she's a princess he tries to use her to get his "fifteen minutes of fame".
    • Lana and her friends do this to Mia. They give the latter her clothes and a nice tent for her to change into. Then the trio humiliate her by pulling down the tent, allowing the paparazzis to take photos of Mia in her towel.
  • Bald of Awesome: Joe. Don't deny it when you're played by Hector Elizondo.
  • Becoming the Mask: Nicholas eventually allows Mia to have the throne because he thinks she deserves it, and because he genuinely fell in love with her.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Mia and Nicholas in the sequel.
  • Better as Friends:
    • In the second movie, Mia and Michael had broke up, and Mia mentioned that they're now back to "just friends".
    • Mia and Andrew as well. The two got along really well, and Mia expected him to be her perfect match to secure the throne of Genovia. Later, they fall for other people, and they (quite happily) called off the wedding.
  • Betty and Veronica: With Mia as the Archie both times:
    • In the first film, it's shy Michael as the Betty and Mia's longtime crush Josh as the Veronica.
    • Invoked in the second film, where Mabrey instructs Nicholas to seduce Mia with the thought of a passionate romance, contrasting her intended Marriage of Convenience with Andrew. The one thing he didn't count on was Nicholas genuinely falling for her.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Twice with Mia in the movie. She uses her baseball bat to hit a baseball so hard, it hits Josh's groin. The second time, Mia hits Lana with an ice cream cone when the latter insults her.
  • Big Damn Heroes: When Mia was humiliated by the paparazzi & the popular girls, the coach of her school comes to help her get away from the paparazzi.
  • Big "SHUT UP!":
    • Mia says this when Queen Clarisse tells her that she is a princess.
      Mia: Me, a princess? SHUT. UP!
      Clarisse: (sipping tea, doing a Spit Take) I beg your pardon? "Shut up"?
      Maitre'D: Your Majesty, in America, it doesn't always mean to be quiet. Here it could mean "Wow, gee whiz, golly wolly"...
    • Lilly also says this when Mia tells her the same thing.
    • In the sequel, Clarisse herself says it when the Genovian parliament drops the bomb that Mia must be married in order to ascend to the throne. Leads to a funny moment when the camera cuts back to an eavesdropping Mia:
      Clarisse: Shut up!
      Mia: Grandma said 'shut up'? Shut up!
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Blonde Lana, Brunette (and Token Minority to boot) Fontana and Redhead Anna.
  • Body Guard Crush: Queen Clarisse and Joe, the head of the security service, have feelings for each other. They eventually get together in the sequel.
  • Bowdlerise: In the books, Mia was a child born out of wedlock to two college grads with Belligerent Sexual Tension, and she becomes the heir by default when testicular cancer makes her father sterile. In the movies, her parents are divorced, with Helen denying that Grandmere made the divorce happen, and Philippe having died in an accident years ago.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Mia talks to her mother about getting her first Foot Popping Kiss. After the debacle at the beach, Mia is crying into her mother's arms and wails "my foot didn't even pop!"
    • A little less harsh than the previous example, there is a moment near the beginning of the first film where Mia accidentally breaks off one of the fingers of a porcelain statue in the embassy. She tries to hide it by putting the finger in the statue's mouth. Later on, at the grand ball, two officials are admiring the statue and pondering whether or not the item in the statue's mouth is string cheese. In the second film you see the same officials wonder if there will be string cheese at Mia's birthday.
    • A subtle one, also somewhat related to the beach party debacle. Right before Mia mentions the Foot Popping, her mother calls Josh a "Backstreet Boy clone". Later, when Mia shows up at school the day after the scandal, "What Makes You Different" by the Backstreet Boys is playing in the background.
  • Broken Pedestal: Mia learning that she is, in fact, not the person she thought she was (and that her mother has been lying to her for her entire life) does not improve the situation at the Thermopolis household.
  • Butt-Monkey: Poor Mia is constantly put in humiliating situations.
  • Call-Back: Mia asks one of the dignitaries about her grandchildren, two of whom are named Lilly and Charlotte. Those are the names of the little twin girls with Jeremiah that Mia signs autographs for in the first film.
  • Calling the Old Woman Out: Mia calls out her mother for failing to inform her that she was a princess.
  • The Cameo:
    • Freakin' Stan Lee appears as a guest in the sequel. And that was before anyone even thought about the idea of Disney buying Marvel.
    • Sophia Loren also cameos in the birthday party scene.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Two cases:
    • First at the state dinner, Mia's clumsiness causes a fiasco that's Played for Laughs - and luckily for her everyone at the dinner finds it charmingly hilarious. But it then cuts to Mia in her room, sadly saying "I'm sorry I let you down" to a picture of her father.
    • The second comes at the beach. While getting hounded by the paparazzi isn't treated as funny, it's still played light-heartedly. When Lana and her Girl Posse expose her getting changed, any humour the scene may have had goes away with Mia (who is fifteen)'s panicked "go away, all of you!"
  • The Cheerleader: Lana, the school's Alpha Bitch, and her Girl Posse are all catty cheerleaders. Lily also invokes this trope by worrying that next week Mia "could be waving pompoms in my face!"
  • Chekhov's Gun: In the first film, Paolo is called in to give Mia a makeover, and Clarisse wants him to sign a confidentiality agreement. Paolo demurs and claims he knows what a secret is. When Mia goes to school later, paparazzi are swarming all over the place, which Paolo admits to being responsible for, for the sake of money pride.
  • Cool Teacher: Mia's gym teacher, Ms. Harbula. Despite the fact that Mia is failing gym class due to her lack of confidence, and despite Mia accidentally clonking her on the head witha softball, Ms. Harbula keeps trying to encourage her and tell her You Are Better Than You Think You Are. When Mia starts a Self-Deprecation speech about how she can't do soccer, her teacher allows her to sub out of the goalie position so she can step back and watch. And when Mia is harassed by paparazzi at the beach party, Ms. Harbula comes to her rescue.
  • Corpsing: The part where Mia falls off the bleachers was accidental. Anne Hathaway's laughing is genuine and arguably in-character so they kept rolling. Heather Matarazzo breaks character briefly but the scene goes on.
  • Cucumber Facial: "Can I tell you a secret? The cucumber does nothing."
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Mia's primary "flaw" is her clumsiness. This trope is at least more justified than most uses in that she's a princess and is expected to be graceful and well-mannered.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Jeremiah is nowhere to be found in the second movie. It's possible Lilly lost touch with him at some point in between the two installments.
  • Damned by Faint Praise:
    Clarisse: You look so... young.
    Mia: Uh, thank you. And you look so... [long pause] ...clean.
  • Death by Adaptation: Mia's dad, Philippe. In the books, he is very much alive and only reveals to Mia that she's a Princess because he has testicular cancer and can no longer have any kids, making the illegitimate Mia his only heir. In the movie, they kill him in order to brush past testicular cancer in a Disney movie. Clarisse simply mentions a "terrible accident" implying that's how he died.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Unlike in the books, where Philippe is alive and makes multiple mistakes, Mia doesn't really talk about her dad's flaws. Neither do her mother and grandmother; Helen says that the reason she didn't want to be a princess was because she couldn't be an artist on her terms, and Clarisse for her part doesn't judge her son for marrying Helen, at least in the present.
  • December–December Romance: Joe and Clarisse.
  • Did They or Didn't They?: Mia and Nicolas don't do anything when they slept together, but citizens of Genovia could interpret this differently.
  • Everyone Can See It: Joe and Clarisse — when they announce they're going to get married even the bishop mouths "finally". Given the first film has the Prime Minister's handing Clarisse over to dance with Joe, it doesn't seem they tried hard to hide their feelings.
  • Failed A Spotcheck: Because Grandmere never made an effort to visit Mia before Mia's father died, Mia never learned that she was royalty in Genovia.
  • Femininity Failure: There's the awkward Mia who takes princess lessons and gets a makeover to which her friend tells her that she sold out. She's still clumsy after the lessons.
  • Fictional Country: Genovia, an ambiguously European Micro Monarchy.
  • Foil: Josh and Michael, the romantic leads in the first film (neither of whom is relevant in the second). Josh is blonde, popular (when he tries, he can be a fairly charismatic speaker, like during the debate scene; mostly he's just an idiot, like his "Be the Ball" speech during PE class), and a showboat. Michael is brunet, plays keyboard in a garage band (the fangirls mostly show up for the guitarist), remains quiet and low-key, but has actual talent. A good comparison scene is during the band class, where Michael is playing piano and Josh is sitting right beside him: Michael has his head down, focusing on the keys, while Josh is hamming it up beside him, pretending to play the piano with his hands flying around dramatically.
  • Foot Popping: Trope Namer. Mia expresses her wish to do this. She fails to do it with Josh, but succeeds with Michael. Also with Nicholas in the second movie.
  • Forceful Kiss: Poor Mia gets a particularly embarrassing one from Josh at the climax of the movie while the paparazzis take photos of the two.
  • Formal Full Array of Cutlery: All meals have their huge number of cutlery. Queen Clarisse once discretely reminds Mia she's supposed to eat fruits with a fork and a knife, instead of using her hands.
  • Friendship as Courtship: 2 has Queen Clarisse's longtime bodyguard's spontaneous proposal to her following an hour and a half of Unresolved Sexual Tension, which she accepts.
  • Friend to All Children:
    • In the first film, Mia gleefully gives a few girls her autograph.
    • Mia invites orphan children to join her during Genovia's independence day parade in the second film, and is later seen making plans to re-purpose a royal estate as a children's center.
  • Funny Background Event: Actually, Funny Foreground Event. When Clarisse is teaching Mia how to properly wave, Joe is in front of them, pretending to drive the car. Halfway through, Joe realizes he has to leave and mimes actually parking the car.
  • Gag Echo: See Big "SHUT UP!" above.
  • Generation Xerox: Many of the problems Mia faces when starting out as a princess are similar to what her grandmother had to deal with (as Clarisse had married into royalty). Even Mia's marriage to Andrew (had it gone through) — Clarisse was deeply fond of her first husband, calling him her best friend, but judging by how people act around Joe when not in the presence of royalty, it was absolutely no secret that the man she was actually in love with was him. Similarly, it's clear Andrew and Mia care for each other, but not in the romantic sense.
  • The Glasses Gotta Go
    Paolo: Do you wear contact lenses?
    Mia: Oh, I have them, but I really don't like to wear them that much.
    Paolo: Now... (breaks her glasses in half) you do.
    Mia: (shocked) You broke my glasses!
    Paolo: You broke my brush.
  • Girls Like Musicians: Michael is introduced playing in a garage band to establish that he's the protagonist' (and many other girls') crush.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Lilly's first reaction to Mia's makeover?
    Lilly: Who destroyed you?
  • Groin Attack: Played for Laughs in a scene when Mia is playing baseball and she's the one holding the bat. While Josh taunts Mia, Mia is able to hit the baseball with the bat, and the baseball hits Josh's groin. It doubles as Laser-Guided Karma, due to how much of a jerk Josh was to Mia.
  • Hard Truth Aesop: Mia's appearance is a big part of becoming a princess, which is a harsh truth for any public figure. Her original look was fine for a high school student, but being expected to be in the public eye would require her to look more 'professional' (which for women usually means having to look like a supermodel). Lily even lists this standard to live up to as a reason why Mia should turn down the job at first.
  • Hands-On Approach: Nicholas teaching Mia to shoot an arrow in the second movie.
  • Hate Sink: Lana, her posse, and Josh are given little to no redeeming qualities in the film and only exist to be assholes to the protagonist. Yep, the writers really wanted viewers to hate her.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Nicholas has this in the end.
  • Held Gaze: One happens between Mia and Nicholas when during their Meet Cute in the second movie and ignites the spark between them.
  • Homage:
    • In the second movie, Mia dances with a succession of royal suitors with humorous personalities and/or odd dance styles, much as Audrey Hepburn (also playing a somewhat unorthodox princess) does in Roman Holiday.
    • One of the cut scenes in the second movie also had a Breakfast at Tiffany's shout-out.
  • Hypocrite:
    • Lilly in the first film hates the "A-Crowd" right up until she realizes Mia's A-crowd by birth. First she can't stand Mia's makeover until she learns Mia's a princess, and later she gives a list of reasons why Mia shouldn't be a princess, but since she's a princess anyway, would she mind coming on Lilly's show?
    • Josh tells Mia he hates phony publicity seekers, and that he broke up with Lana for telling the press she's Mia's best friend. He then goes on to invite Mia to the beach party, where he lures her out of hiding by lying to her that the coast is clear, forces a kiss on her as the paparazzi cameras flash, and happily tells them his name.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Clarice gifts Mia a Genovian ornament and Mia says "Don't worry. I'll take good care of it..." just as she haphadazardly stuffs it into her bag.
  • Imagine Spot:
    • After discussing Foot Popping, Mia has an Imagine Spot where a foot attempts to pop but fails due to her shoe being stuck to a piece of gum.
    • A cut scene from the first movie, which would have taken place before the makeover, has an Imagine Spot of Mia as a wooden puppet, following Clarisse's order.
  • Innocently Insensitive: In the film, Mia happily tells Michael that Josh invited her to a beach party. She was completely unaware of Michael’s feelings for her, and the latter is heartbroken.
  • It's All About Me: In the first movie, a lot of the conflict happens between Mia and her mother because each insists the other acknowledges her feelings first. Mia's mother justifies her decision to divorce her husband (and deny Mia her father and her heritage) in part because she refused to walk behind someone for the rest of her life, and Mia gets upset with her mother (who does -not- have a lot of other prospects that meet standards) for scoring a date from her teacher because "it would give the other kids license to mock me for the rest of my life".
  • Jerkass: Lana, her posse, and Josh.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Lana has a good reason to be mad at Mia for (unwittingly) stealing her boyfriend. In the books Mia realizes this and apologizes.
    • Lilly comes off as a bad friend, but she was right to call Mia out for ditching her to go to the beach party and (unintentionally) breaking Michael’s heart. Even Mia realizes she blew it.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Lilly has moments of being a terrible friend to Mia, but there are also moments that show her heart is in the right place.
  • Lessons in Sophistication: The first film covers Mia's princess education. Despite the fact that the clumsy, awkward Mia doesn't take naturally to any of her lessons and clowns her way through them, she still absorbs quite a lot, and is able to demonstrate much of what she's learned in her grand debut at the end of the film.
  • Lighter and Softer: Lilly has noticeably matured in Royal Engagement, shedding most of her slightly caustic traits from the first film. The Baron and Baroness also briefly appear in Royal Engagement but have backed off seeking the crown except for a Played for Laughs moment near the end.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Mia Thermopolis (Light) and her grandmother Clarisse Renaldi (Dark). Mia is feminine and likes girly things, but she’s clumsy and awkward (which is why she’s taking princess lessons in the first place). She’s not a fan of dressing girly and doing her hair and makeup. Clarisse, on the other hand, carries herself well, always dresses in the fanciest clothings, and keeps her hair & makeup well done.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: Variation when the Queen invents the "Genovian Order of the Rose", after spotting a sign for Rose Street, to get Mia out of a spot of trouble with a police officer.
  • Love Redeems: Nicholas' redemption arc in the second film starts when he genuinely develops feelings for Mia.
  • The Makeover: Played straight in the movies.
  • Makeover Montage: Mia is given a princess makeover by Makeover Fairy Paolo and his assistants. She gets another makeover from the same trio in the sequel.
  • Marriage of Convenience: In the sequel, Mia resigns herself to this with Andrew so she can properly inherit the throne, although they both acknowledge that there's no romantic spark between them. She calls off the wedding at the altar, to both of their relief.
  • Modesty Shorts: Seen when Mia comes down the spiral steps at the beginning.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Played for Drama in the film when the paparazzis take photos of Mia in nothing but her towel.
  • Nepotism: A throwaway gag line in the sequel reveals that the reason why Mia's suite wasn't ready upon her arrival is because they asked her grandfather's cousin to do the bathroom. As Clarisse puts it, nepotism belongs in the arts — not plumbing.
  • Nice Guy:
    • Michael, Lilly's older brother. He is unfailingly nice to Mia, and unlike Lilly, he gracefully accepts her becoming a princess.
    • Mia herself is friendly and sweet.
    • Joe, Mia's chauffeur, is a nice guy as well. He even sticks up for Mia a few times.
    • Despite being stern towards Mia, Clarisse is a friendly woman and has Mia's interests at heart.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: When Nicolas attempts to woo Mia, he pulls her close to him and kisses her at least once.
  • No Sparks: Mia and Andrew's problem in the sequel. They click immediately — as friends. While they would have had a comfortable marriage had the wedding gone through, it wouldn't have necessarily been happy. This relationship apparently mirrors that between Mia's grandparents. Clarissa called her late husband her best friend, and she was happy with him, but she didn't love him — at least, not as much as she should have, and not quite in the way a wife would love her husband.
  • Obviously Evil: Mabrey makes it clear that he's out for the throne.
  • Oh, Crap!: Paolo lets out a small shriek upon seeing Mia for the first time.
  • Pair the Spares: In A Royal Engagement, the garden party makes it quite clear that not only are Mia and Nicholas the Official Couple of the film, Andrew is quite taken with Lady Elyssa, Nicholas' date. The final scene implies that they did indeed get together.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: The whole conflict of the second movie could've been avoided if they had betrothed Nicholas to Mia — especially since it was becoming increasingly clear to anyone watching them interact that they wouldn't be opposed to the idea at all. Nicholas even brings up the possibility to his uncle, who immediately shoots it down as he does not want anyone to threaten his attempts to make Nicholas a Puppet King.
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Averted, Mia does find Andrew to be all the things a Prince Charming should be, handsome, kind and intelligent, and she does genuinely like him, she just doesn't love him, and vice versa. He is willing however to still be her consort if it means she inherits her birthright as Queen of Genovea, but she decides she cannot allow him to sacrifice his own chance at happiness for her.
    • Discussed in relations to her grandparents. While the two did have a happy marriage, and Clarrise did love her husband, enough that she was able to produce two heirs, she claims that King Rupert was her best friend, but not the love of her life.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Mia's princess dresses would count merely as Simple, yet Opulent if not for the intricate embroidery.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: In the sequel, Mia frequently wears shades of red, pink, and orange while Nicolas is frequently seen in shades of blue.
  • Precocious Crush: Prince Jacques, age 12, tries to romance Mia while dancing with her at her 21st birthday.
  • Prince Charming: Andrew Jacoby from the sequel is a duke, not a prince, but fits the part in all other aspects. He's an Oxbridge-educated Nice Guy who does volunteer work and photography, has experience as a military pilot, and is apparently a champion swimmer.
  • Previously Overlooked Paramour: Mia's longtime friend Michael has feelings for her, but she is unaware of this for most of the story. Only after she realizes that the Romantic False Lead Josh wasn't the right guy for her do she and Michael confess to each other.
  • Professional Butt-Kisser: Downplayed. The Vice Principal is all over Clarisse Renaldi after she arrives at school in the first film.
  • Punny Name: Charlotte's unspoken last name Kutaway is because the character frequently appears in cutaway shots.
  • Quirky Country: Genovia, if the second movie is anything to go by. Apparently, marching bands with violin and accordion players are commonplace there, as are goats that moo and pear-flavoured popcorn.
  • Race Against the Clock: In the sequel, Mia has 30 days to get married to someone or she'll have to give up the throne.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Robert Schwartzmann was busy touring with his band when the sequel was produced, which is why Mia's narration says they are Better as Friends at the start.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The staff members are shown to always be on Mia's side when the other students mistreat her. The gym teacher even rescued Mia from the paparazzi at the beach party.
  • Retcon: Despite having liked two guys in the first movie and officially dating one of them at the end, Mia will state in the sequel that she's never been in love. Then again, she could have been talking about being in a serious relationship; how many high school romances tend to last after high school?
  • Romantic Runner-Up: Andrew really is just as nice as he appears, and if things had been different, he and Mia probably could have made a go of a content, if not exactly passionate, marriage. He is seen standing with Lilly, Nicholas, and Lady Elyssa at Mia's coronation, making it clear that they did remain friends — and that, thankfully, he got his own happy ending.
  • Runaway Bride: Played straight in the climax where Mia decides not to marry Andrew for the sake of Genovia, much to his relief since he didn't particularly want to marry her either.
  • Ruritania: Genovia, a fictional country between France and Spain.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Mia. She even provides the picture for the trope page.
  • Shipper on Deck: Lilly ships Mia/Nicholas. Mia ships Joe/Clarisse.
  • Shipping Torpedo: Nicholas and his uncle initially try to torpedo Mia/Andrew so Nicholas can be king. He has a change of heart.
  • Ship Tease: Lily and the leader of the Royal Guard Band in the sequel. He even goes as far as to ask if he could call her in California, and she slips him her business card.
  • Shout-Out (and also Actor Allusion): In the second movie, Julie Andrews saying "I've done a LOT of flying in my day." Also, Lilly compares Brigitt and Brigitta first to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, then to Lenny and Squiggy.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: "Lily, just because your hair sucks, get off mine."
  • "Shut Up" Kiss: Mia gets this from Michael in the first film.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Mia and Nicholas. Literally.
  • Stealth Insult: Delivered during a toast to the film's villains, Baron and Baroness von Troken; (who hope that Mia fails to accept her royal heritage in order to allow for them to be next in line to rule Genovia) in which the toast went "To Baron and Baroness von Troken, may you always remain barren". (This could also be interpreted as "baron", as in may he stay baron and thus never get to rule Genovia.)
  • Stern Teacher: Clarisse is this towards Mia regarding her "princess lessons."
  • Succession Crisis: The plot of the second movie — an obscure law bars Mia from inheriting the throne of Genovia unless she is married. In the event that she doesn't, Nicholas Devereaux, a distant heir, is next in line. Gets resolved when Nicholas allows Mia to have the throne, mainly because he never wanted it and is in love with her.
  • Symbol Swearing: In the sequel, Mia does a mixture of this and Goshdang It To Heck by angrily muttering some nonsense syllables while stomping off.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Mia gives a brief one to Lana after "coning" her.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: Clarisse and Joe. If Viscount Mabrey's comment is anything to go by, this has been going on for quite some time. They finally resolve it by getting married in the sequel.
  • Uptown Girl: Mia for Michael in the first film and Clarisse for Joe in the second. Both are particularly painful examples as Michael is already pretty close to Mia when he discovers she's royalty instead of an ordinary girl. Joe has been in love with Clarisse for years but has held back from saying anything because of her devotion to Genovia.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Mia becomes this when Josh only invites her to the beach party to get his fifteen minutes of fame.
  • Villainous Breakdown: In the sequel, with Viscount Mabrey. Five words: “LOVELY ON A POSTAGE STAMP?!”
  • Wants a Prize for Basic Decency: Lilly in the first film.
    Lilly: I kept your royal secret, and do you know how hard it is to keep a secret when you have a cable show?
  • What Does She See in Him?: In the film, Lilly, Michael, and Mia’s mother understandably have this view towards Mia’s infatuation towards Josh.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Lilly rightfully calls Mia out for ditching her and Michael to go to Josh’s beach party.
  • Why Waste a Wedding?: Played straight in the sequel when Mia and Andrew call off their wedding at the altar, Mia convinces Clarisse and Joe to finally tie the knot. The former sheepishly says "you were all dressed" to the confused wedding guests.
  • You Do Not Want To Know: Mia to Clarisse twice over, with the second instance acting as a Call-Back.
    • In the first movie, when Mia shows up wet at the event where she is supposed to announce that she is the new princess.
    • In the second movie, when she arrives back at the palace after falling into a fountain.
  • Your Tradition Is Not Mine: Mia's initial rejection of her royal parentage.


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