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Well, this is awkward.

"My name is J, and I'm awkward — and black. Someone once told me those were the two worst things anyone could be. That someone was right."
J
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The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl follows the titular character, "J," a diet-pill salesperson who doesn't hate her job but thinks her co-workers are "pretty much the worst people in life." As a coping mechanism, she writes rap lyrics that she considers "too Nicki Minaj" and obsesses over the awkward issues in her life. The show addresses concerns such as "What do you do when you constantly run into the same person at stop signs?", "How do you cover up waving to the wrong person?", and much more.

The brainchild of writer/director Issa Rae, who was unable to identify with sexy vixens and sassy black women on TV, the show revolves around awkwardness, "which is a unifying and universal thing that we all have experienced in some capacity."

The show sprung into popularity after only a couple of months, due to the relatable Black and Nerdy main character not often shown in television. It began accepting donations via Kickstarter to extend its first season, which culminated in the raising of $56,000, nearly doubly their goal of $30,000. In December 2013, it was announced the show had been picked up for television by HBO; the project eventually became a new series titled Insecure.

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Check out the official site of the series at AwkwardBlackGirl.com.


The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl contains examples of:

  • Accidental Misnaming: In "The Decision," J's boss lady keeps calling a new coworker (named Jesus) "jee-zus" when the name is actually pronounced "hay-soos." This leads to confusion when other people say the word "Jesus."
    Nina: Jee-zus! That is not a good idea.
    Jesus: Hay-soos! All of my ideas are good. And I am your boss.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Amir
  • All Love Is Unrequited: J has a huge crush on Fred, which he hardly notices. Also, White Jay has a crush on J beginning in "The Dance," but it is rather one-sided.
  • Alpha Bitch: Nina
  • Ambiguously Brown: Amir who's Armenian. CeCe who's Indian.
  • Berserk Button: Do not touch J's stapler.
    • Everybody in J's anger management class has one of these, eg. coworkers writing emails in Comic Sans, people not letting the microwave time run out.
  • Better as Friends: As of the first season finale, J and Fred.
  • Black and Nerdy: A
  • Black Gal on White Guy Drama:
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    • Played for Laughs in "The Date." When J and White Jay walk into a restaurant all of the customers stare at them with a look of disapproval, including a black man and white girl couple.
      J: Am I dating the founder of the KKK? Why all the attention?
    • In "The Friends", J is talking to someone at White Jay's Class Reunion and introduces herself as his girlfriend.
      Random Guest: I should've known by the look of that dress that you was a murderer. I'm tired of bitches killing black love.
  • Brick Joke: CeCe randomly mentions that she had to go to Racial Insensitivity Training. Amir, who had disappeared sometime during the series due to Real Life Writes the Plot, returns in the season finale, reformed by Racial Insensitivity Training. (He needed it.)
  • Buffy Speak: J narrates this way frequently.
    J: Did he just Angry Black Woman me?
  • But Not Too Black: Played straight with Nina
  • Butt-Monkey: J
  • Call-Back
    • In "The Job," her boss lady (jokingly?) says to J, "girlfriend, how are we gonna get cornrows now?" When she shows up in "The Icebreaker," she's wearing cornrows.
    • Space-invading co-worker with AIDS, or Patty, fired sometime before season 1 episode 4, keeps re-appearing.
    • "I get you."
    • J steals water from her anger management class. "Shit, I thought he said the water was free."
    • "Dear sushi restaurant, thank you for not being Red Lobster."
  • The Cameo: Kevin McCall plays the rapper/freestyler who J had a crush on in the 11th grade.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: The first few episodes are more Slice of Life and heavily focused on comedy. While the show never stops being comedic, it gradually becomes more focused on romance, and the second season is much more dramatic.
  • Comically Missing the Point
  • Cringe Comedy
  • A Degree in Useless: When J has an Imagine Spot about what would happen if she took the "sales associate" job opening, she bumps into an old college friend, who whispers to her child, "This is where people who major in African-American Studies end up, sweetie."
  • Dogged Nice Guy: White Jay
  • Dominatrix: The cashier in the sex store J visits is an elderly woman dressed as one of these.
  • Did Not Get the Girl/Guy: Seesaws throughout the entire first season. A didn't get J. J didn't get Fred. White Jay didn't get J. And in the end, Fred doesn't get J.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The first few episodes were more obviously low budget and were a lot shorter, compare the 5 minute first episode to the 25-minute season 1 finale.

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