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Literature / Queen of Babble

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Queen of Babble is an adult Romance trilogy written by Meg Cabot. It details the misadventures of Lizzie Nichols, a fashionista graduating college who apparently can't keep a secret and makes foreign men fall in love with her.

Tropes for this work include:

  • Accidental Misnaming: The first red flag that Andrew isn't right for Lizzie is that he calls her "Liz".
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Discussed about Luke proposing to Lizzie. Lizzie wants to get married and settle down with true love. Luke on paper seems perfect, following his dreams, defending Lizzie, and wanting to take care of her. Then he reveals he doesn't want to marry her, only proposing on New Year's Day after spending a week away from her. Shari and Lizzie discuss how this is what she wants, but she's not sure if she wants it after being rejected once. Rather, Lizzie insists it's what she wants, but thinking of her wedding makes her break out in hives.
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  • Bilingual Backfire: Madame and Monsieur Henri speak French initially in front of Lizzie when they say things they don't want her to hear. Unfortunately for them, Lizzie learned French.
  • Brick Joke: In Book Two, Luke's father accidentally trips over and breaks Liz's sewing machine despite the fact that she hid it away. Luke buys her another one for Christmas, which makes her cry since she was expecting him to pop the question.
  • Cannot Keep a Secret: This is Lizzie's Informed Flaw, which is why people tell her to keep her mouth shut.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The Givenchy gown in book one.
    • Every girl's desire for an affordable wedding gown in book three.
  • Comfort Food: Yodels, especially when your heart is broken.
  • The Complainer Is Always Wrong: Lizzy whenever she's convinced that she's in love. When she thinks that she and Andy are meant to be, her whole family, Shari and Chaz are against her visiting Andy in Europe. He then turns out to be a liar who wants Lizzy for her savings, and Lizzy is relieved when her grandmother picks up the phone and doesn't say I Warned You. NO ONE is a Shipper on Deck, and they end up being right twice.
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  • Consummate Liar: Andy. Not only has he quit his teaching job to be a waiter, and then lies to get money from the British government, but he turns out to be a gambling addict, fond of Texas Hold 'Em and sees Lizzy as a source of cash.
  • Cool Old Lady: Grams, Lizzie's grandmother. She's full of Brutal Honesty and is a dirty old woman, but she provides sensible advice for Lizzie. Lizzie is heartbroken when Grams dies in book three and Lizzy can't get advice from her.
  • The Determinator: Lizzie Nichols, hands down. Can't find a job? Interns for no pay at a wedding refurbishment shop and turns it around. Gets fired from her paid job? Demands that the Henris give her full-time work and a place to live. The Henris close down the shop and put her out of a job? She buys their building and starts a new line of affordable wedding gowns with Ava Geck.
  • Did Not Think This Through:
    • Lizzie going to England to meet a guy she briefly saw after he rescued her from a fire. This is the early days of the Internet, when you can easily check on someone for red flags. Her family warns her and tells her to go to the wedding that Chaz and Shari are attending instead.
    • While designing her own major, Lizzie didn't consider that she would need to write a thesis in the four years she went to college.
    • Andy in turn told his family that Lizzie was "a fatty!" and besides that has told many lies to her, including his career choice and the fact that he's a poker addict. When she runs away after revealing she has money she can give to him to fun his habit, he honestly thinks that finding her at the castle to ask for the money is a good idea after he insulted her weight and lied to her all summer.
    • Shari being a Shipper on Deck for Chaz and Lizzie in book three by pulling Operation: Jealousy; of course it leads to infidelity and Lizzie calls her out for pulling such a scheme.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Shari pours beer all over Lizzie's dress in book two when Lizzie heckles her to sing karaoke. In Shari's defense, she was drunk, but Lizzie laments that she'll need to spray her outfit with Febreeze.
  • Ditzy Genius: Lizzie Nichols. Despite having never gone to business school, she's very people-savvy and knows how to recruit customers for her causes. In fact, thanks to her, business at Chez Henris goes up one thousand percent.
  • The Fashionista: Lizzie enjoys wearing refurbished vintage clothes.
  • Girlfriend in Canada: Lizzie's sisters assume that she made up Luke, since they've never seen him.
  • Gold Digger:
    • Andy, especially when Lizzy reveals she has savings and he admits to her that he's a compulsive gambler, and owes money to people that will break his legs.
    • Bride Jill Higgins is viewed as this, in part to being an animal trainer and fat. Subverted as she genuinely loves her husband.
  • Heartbroken Badass: Lizzie for most of the series, with Andy and Luke.
  • Hide Your Lesbians: Averted.
  • Impossibly Tacky Clothes: The bride's original choice of dress in Book One and the dress Jill Higgins has to wear when walking down the aisle. With the former Lizzie tries her best but finally offers the Givenchy gown as an alternative but with the latter Lizzie manages to dress it up and get rid of the hoop skirt.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: Jill Higgins does this in the law office bathroom, from the wedding stress and having to wear Impossibly Tacky Clothes as her in-laws dictate.
  • Informed Flaw: Lizzie is often told that her big mouth gets her into trouble, but she actually doesn't talk that much, especially in books two and three.
  • I Was Quite a Fashion Victim: Ava Geck, before Lizzie manages to tame her.
  • Jerkass: Shari. She has very few redeeming moments in the series.
  • Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: Lizzie repeatedly falls for sophisticated, European guys Andy and Luke but finally realizes she's in love with long-time friend Chaz.
  • Made Out to Be a Jerkass: Monsieur Henri when he returns to work in Book Three after his heart attack. He's shocked at all the changes that Lizzie has made to the shop, which includes a new cappuccino bar and salmon awning, and says that it's not his business anymore. Tiffany and Madame Henri explicitly call him an Ungrateful Bastard for not appreciating that Lizzie increased their business by 1000 percent. Lizzie understands, however, that he nearly died and is dealing with some reservations about his life is going.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Lizzie redesiging Jill Higgins's wedding gown and getting lots of business for the Henris leads to her getting fired from her receptionist job for violating confidentiality. How does this happen? The Henris talk with a reporter about how Lizzie got them the commission. She ends up getting a full-time paid job from them, however, and a place to live.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot:
    • Lizzie believes that she does this on a regular basis. She gets better about it in books Two and Three.
    • Luke also does this when he and Lizzie get into a fight about their wedding, and he makes a crack about her grandmother. This causes her to run out of the restaurant where they're celebrating with Chaz and Valencia, and for them to take a break.
    • Valencia, Chaz's date in Book Three, calls Lizzie "solipsistic" under her breath in Chaz's presence. The next time Chaz talks to Lizzie, he says, "Fuck Valencia."
  • Operation: Jealousy: Shari tries to pull this on Lizzie in book three, asking a pretty girl in her office to flirt with Chaz, so that Lizzie will realize that she loves Chaz and will break up with Luke. It backfires horribly in that Lizzie starts sleeping with Chaz while still engaged to Luke.
  • Pet the Dog: Shari has these moments, like offering Lizzie a place to stay after she breaks up with Luke in Book Two and making sure she's okay in book three.
  • Put on a Bus to Hell: Luke.
  • Pygmalion Plot: Tiffany references this in regards to Lizzie helping Ava Geck with her public image, though she mixes up the names "Eliza Higgins" and "Dr. Doolittle". This actually does happen, with Geck becoming more civilized.
  • Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor: Played with between Luke and Chaz. They're both rich trust fund kids but Luke is a European prince and wealthy banker while Chaz is a Phd student wanting to be a Philosophy professor. He even tells Lizzie straight out that considering his poor prospects he wouldn't blame her for choosing Luke.
  • Romantic False Lead: Andy is the obvious false lead to the charming Luke, however in the sequels Luke is the false lead to Chaz, who has been around since the beginning.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: Luke going to medical school and becoming a doctor like he always dreamed. He ends up failing his exams and dropping out of remedial classes to return to investment banking.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Lizzie averts the trope since she is a fashionista that wears refurbished vintage and always looks fabulous. Played straight with her clients, however, especially on their wedding days.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Lizzie falls for both Andy and Luke after they go on about wanting to become teachers and doctors. They both turn out to be jerks, and she eventually falls for her best friend Chaz.
  • Take a Third Option: When volunteered to fix the bride's wedding dress in Book One, which is essentially lace construct and thus has no structural integrity, Lizzie while presenting it also presents the restored Givenchy gown to the bride.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Diet Coke for Lizzie.
  • The Unfair Sex:
    • Shari cheats on Chaz with a woman, leaving the latter heartbroken, but she is a Karma Houdini as a result.
    • No one shows sympathy for Lizzie cheating on Luke, since he left her to go to Paris instead of staying.
  • Victorious Childhood Friend: The first book is all about the protagonist's romantic relationship with attractive, sophisticated, wealthy Luke Brandon. By the end of the third book she has dumped him in favor of her best friend's ex and longtime friend, Chad. As the series progresses it makes sense, but you wouldn't have guessed that was how the series would turn out from the first book.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • When Lizzie accuses Luke of spilling the beans about her thesis not being finished, he in turn accuses her of not keeping her mouth shut about his dreams.
    • Lizzie gives a tiny one to Shari in Book 3 after learning that Shari tried to pull Operation: Jealousy on her to make her realize Luke was a bad idea.
  • With Friends Like These...: Shari is not a nice person to be around, and she is not a nice girlfriend.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Lizzie hates tomatoes, due to a childhood of picking so many. Of course, Andy forgot this and told his family that tomatoes are Lizzie's favorite food, so they're included in every meal.
  • Wrong Guy First: Wrong guy first and second.