Author's Saving Throw: Given the flak that Lily received in the first book for refusing to handle her alcoholism, the second ensured that Lily would have to work to earn her friendship back with Andy. Namely that Emily becomes Andy's new best friend after they start a magazine together, and Lily is utterly sympathetic when she hears that Max and Emily went behind Andy's back to sign the deal with Miranda. It's the only time in the series that Lily isn't judgmental about Andy's career or choices in men and offers comfort.
"Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Andy has extended Anxiety Dreams about her tenure as a Runway assistant, that are Played for Laughs. One involves Alex taking Miranda's side against Andy. In the sequel, Andy's new husband Max goes behind her back to sell The Plunge to Miranda, essentially taking Miranda's side.
The Scrappy: Lily in the books. Although she and Andy have been best friends since they were children, Lily rapidly starts to lose control of her life, her academics and her drinking problem. Andy isn't Lily's mother even if she insists on being her best friend as well as her emergency contact. If not for Lily drunk driving and ending up in a coma, Andy wouldn't have been put in an impossible situation where her family and Alex expected her to come home from Paris to check on Lily at the risk of getting fired.
Tear Jerker: No matter what you think of Max, or what he did, it is utterly heartbreaking when he realizes that he messed up by going behind Andy's back to sell The Plunge to Miranda. When he arrives at home with flowers and an apology dessert, she immediately demands a divorce, won't talk to him, and kicks him out. Max doesn't even put up a fight.
Unintentionally Sympathetic: Alex breaks up with Andy when he knows she hesitated on coming home to see Lily when the latter woke up from her coma. He says that it violated basic decency, though as Andy points out in her internal monologue when pondering the decision, she only had to be with Miranda for a few more days and leaving mid-fashion week would ensure her year would be for nothing. Not to mention that, as many readers pointed out, Lily is an adult and was in denial of her problems, even going Never My Fault afterward. In fact, Andy was going to be fired anyway because even she knows that passports can't be renewed within three hours at night and that was when she decided to leave. The sequel has Alex admit he had no right to judge Andy, ten years later and that breaking up with her was a big mistake. He says he would understand if Andy didn't want him back, though they do reconcile.
Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Lily is already a piece of work, but the clincher comes at the end of the first novel where she jokes about Andy writing about her life experiences on shutting out everyone. Complete Never My Fault about her drunk driving and problems. Then, after Alex and Andy's parents in book one stressing that Andy has to be there for Lily, Lily decides the best thing to do is move out to Boulder to get a fresh start on her career and leave behind her tarnished reputation. It's really hard to blame Andy for becoming friends with a recently-fired Emily instead.
Lampshaded. Throughout the book, Andy tries to explain how hard her job is. Namely, that there is no way to take personal time when Miranda demands more than the usual eight-hour workday. Which is fairly true for most jobs in retail or food, and fashion as it turns out. Her dad and pregnant sister seem to be the only ones who get it, while her mother tries to guilt Andy into visiting home or her sister. Alex eventually loses his temper when Andy has to cancel their high school reunion trip and says the job is taking over her life.
One could interpret the movie as a big Break the Haughty for Andy. At the start she turns up for a job interview knowing nothing about the magazine she's applying for or the woman she could possibly be employed by. She seems to view fashion as being beneath her, and the other girls as being ridiculously silly for indulging Miranda. Throughout the course of the story, she learns to take fashion seriously and her makeover is a sign of her applying herself to be successful at her job and understanding what she's doing - which any good writer needs to know.
The Take posits that another interpretation is less "holding true to your morals" vs "selling out," and more about finding a healthy balance between being invested in your job without falling into its toxic or destructive tendencies. Andy starts off thinking the fashion industry is beneath her and is rightly called out for it, but once she applies herself she outstrips Emily as Miranda's preferred assistant. Meanwhile, Emily is so devoted to her job that she's a Nervous Wreck, Extreme Doormat, and Professional Butt-Kisser who is literally killing herself to please an unappreciative Miranda (goes on starvation diets, works even when sick, and is hospitalized due to being so distracted running errands for Miranda that she gets hit by a car). Whereas when Andy realizes she's becoming too invested in her industry's cutthroat and back-stabbing politics, she takes a step back and decides to pursue the career she really does want.
The Take: So, like Emily, we can all stand to learn that a job is just a job.
Award Snub: Emily Blunt became a name after this and got a Golden Globe nom and BAFTA nom, but wasnt too lucky at getting an Oscar nom.
Awesome Ego: She doesn't drone on about how great she is, but everything about Miranda's conduct clearly shows how firmly she believes she is the centre of the universe. In the fashion world, she's absolutely right.
Base-Breaking Character: Fans' opinions of Christian seem to be split down the middle, with most either loving or hating him. Some love him due to Simon Baker's natural charm, his actually supporting Andy's efforts at Runway, and finding him more likable than Andy's actual love interest Nate. However, some fans dislike him just as much as Nate due to his pursuit of Andy despite knowing she has a boyfriend, feeling he comes off as creepy rather than charming, and him trying to cost Miranda her job.
Broken Aesop: Andy is presented as being "too good" for the fashion designer assistant job she applies for, and she derisively says she will only tough it out for a year to gain the experience and connections needed to get the job she wants. When she finally learns to take her job seriously and do it well she's presented as "selling her soul," while her abruptly quitting is presented as "holding true to her morals." However, when she applies for the serious journalism job that she only took the fashion designer assistant job to get, they almost don't hire her due to her abrupt departure ("holding true to her morals"), and only hire her due to Miranda giving her a glowing recommendation... which Miranda only gave her due to Andy learning to do her job well ("selling her soul") in the first place.
Broken Base: With regards to the depiction of the fashion industry. Several industry figures called it a Cliché Storm that seemed to represent more what an outsider thought fashion was like. Others however praised the film for getting the politics and "sucking up" of the industry spot on.
Cliché Storm: Many pointed this out about the film, notably that it indulges several cliches about usual depictions of the fashion industry - all the workers being weight-obsessed, people being able to afford expensive clothes despite being paid minimum wage, and presenting buying designer brands as crossing the Moral Event Horizon.
Crossover Ship: The fandom has a big crossover appeal with its two leads being shipped with characters from multiple different works. Andy has been shipped with Patty Hewes and Cat Grant, mostly due to those two's similarities to Miranda, who is the most popular person to ship with Andy. Miranda has been shipped with Selina Kyle, Jules Ostin, and more recently the Grand High Witch, due to those three being played by Andy's actress Anne Hathaway. However, the most popular crossover ship is both Andy and Miranda with Cruella de Vil, which is popular on AO3 and is only topped in terms of threesome pairings by Miranda/Andy/Emily.
Designated Villain: The movie tries to frame Christian as being a dick for knowing about the plan to replace Miranda and the whole thing as a Moral Event Horizon for the character. However, as some fans have pointed out, he is not wrong that Miranda is a horrible boss who needs to be replaced (as shown by the next scene where she backstabs her best friend to keep said job). The only genuinely "villainous" thing he does is kiss Andy while he knows she has a boyfriend, which ironically the movie blames Andy for.
Die for Our Ship: Miranda/Andy shippers often do this to anyone who could interfere with the two getting together. Christian is often portrayed as a creepy stalker who doesn't get that Andy is not interested. Stephen is often made out to be a cheater who divorced Miranda, so he could sleep around more. However, Nate gets the worst of this, with many fanfics turning him into a man-child or making him abusive to Andy. This is however mostly averted with Nate's book counterpart Alex.
Draco in Leather Pants: Miranda Priestly is presented in a far better light by the fanbase than the film, mainly due to the commanding presence of Meryl Streep. Fans seem to ignore her abusive behavior towards her employees and instead portray her as a tough but fair boss. Fans also like to ignore the fact that she robbed her friend, Nigel, of his dream job to save her own. This also comes from the fact that a lot of fans like to ship her with the lead Andy, so these fans often say the fact that she gave Andy a recommendation at the end is her supporting Andy's career, but this ignores the fact that much of the film is Miranda trying to mold Andy into being ruthless like herself.
Ensemble Dark Horse: Serena is quite popular in the fandom despite not having much plot relevance beyond being Emily's friend. This is especially true in the shipping community. Where she and Emily make up the second most popular ship after Miranda x Andy.
Fandom-Specific Plot: Most fanfiction based on the film will have Andy and Miranda meet up soon after Miranda's recommendation and reconnect on a more personal level. It's usually thanks to some meddling on the part of Nigel or the twins. The exact kind of relationship they form depends on the writer, though most will have the two get together romantically, either by finding out they have feelings for each other or by having them admit already existing ones. Some will have the two form a more Mother-Daughter bond, with Miranda encouraging Andy's feelings for another character.
Fan-Preferred Couple: Most of the fanfiction about the film is about Miranda and Andy getting together. This is due to the Foe Yay between the two, as well as the fact that their growing relationship drives the film, and feeling that the Streep and Hathaway have great chemistry together. There is next to no fanfiction that have Andy being paired with Nate or Christian. They have the most fanfiction about them on Archive of Our Own, with it being in the 2000s, and the pairing remains quite popular on sites like Tumblr and YouTube to this day. Emily x Serena is also quite popular.
Fan-Preferred Cut Content: The film has several deleted scenes between Andy and Miranda, some of which fans feel should have been left in. One particular moment is Miranda mouthing "thank you" to Andy for stopping her husband from embarrassing her at the party, which some fans feel added more depth to Miranda that was lacking from the finished product. Another is the small scene of Miranda and Andy awkwardly riding in an elevator to James Holt's office, which many feel was one of the funnier jokes that the writing team came up with.
Fanon: A lot of fans assume that Andy got very close to Miranda's daughters, Caroline and Cassidy, to the point that she is one of only two people, along with Miranda, who can tell the two apart. This is despite there being very little evidence of it in the actual film.
Funny Moments: During the Academy Award rehearsal, Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt were supposed to joke with Meryl Streep about being their boss — playing off the wooden cut-out with the assumption Streep would laugh. During the actual awards, Streep instead decided to play as Miranda with a stony-cold Death Glare at them — Hathaway and Blunt went with it and acted like nervous wrecks in character as well.
Hollywood Homely: Parodied and used to show some of the ridiculous standards of the fashion industry - since the beautiful and svelte Anne Hathaway is described as an ugly fat girl by Miranda. It's clearly used to show Miranda's Insane Troll Logic.
Specifically, Ambition Is Evil. A popular criticism of the movie is that Andy is painted as having gone over to the dark side for having somewhat less time to spend with her boyfriend, family and friends, who are all constantly giving her shit for having a job they don't approve of and implying that she's probably bad at it anyway since they never knew her to be interested in fashion. And in spite of taking this approach, it also passes on the chance to do a Beautiful All Along — Andy gives away most of her designer stuff at the end, but she remains the thinner, sleek-haired, flatteringly-made-up, well-dressed woman she learned to be working at Runway.
It is also worth noting that a key part of Andy's arc has to do with her relationship with her boyfriend, which gets rocky because he doesn't like the ways her job is "changing her" (it doesn't make sense in context either), or that she works such long hours. At one point we see Miranda and her husband arguing bitterly, evidently for similar reasons; and at the end of the film Miranda reveals that her husband has asked her for a divorce. Soon after this, Andy leaves her job and Miranda, tearfully apologizes to Nate and tells him that he was "right about everything".
Miranda's daughters, if you stop and think about it. They're clearly spoilt by her and they direct Andy upstairs knowing Miranda will be furious with her, seemingly For the Lulz, but though Miranda obviously loves them very much, she rarely spends time with them thanks to the magazine coming first. The few times we see them or hear them mentioned besides the scene at Miranda's house, they're always being escorted by Miranda's staff and have had to go through not only several stepfathers, but every newspaper calling their mother an Ice Queen for driving another one away.
Emily, considering that she was practically killing herself just to make it to Paris with Miranda, only to have Andy steal that opportunity from her- right after she gets hit by a car while running errands for Miranda. While she may have been a rude and hostile person, it's really hard to not feel bad for her during the second half of the film. Emily seems to be teetering into an eating disorder, as well. On the positive side, though, Andy and Emily's lukewarm friendship might not be completely severed, and Andy's influence as well as time out in the hospital may have given her a reprieve from her stressful job. She does at least seem to be more relaxed in her final scene.
Nigel, who accepts a job as a Creative Director for acclaimed fashion designer James Holt, only to have Miranda snatch that opportunity from him to preserve her career and position. He may have been an unsympathetic character, but it's very disheartening that he was simply robbed of a job that he dreamed of since childhood.
LGBT Fanbase: This film has a large fanbase of lesbian and bisexual women, mainly due to a lot of the actresses already having some, especially Meryl Streep. The focus on fashion and Nigel being gay have also led to a large fanbase of gay men.
Magnificent Bitch: Miranda Priestly is the strict and overbearing but classy editor-in-chief of Runway Magazine. She constantly assigns her assistants Andrea "Andy" Sachs and Emily Charlton very menial and personal tasks to accomplish, in addition to remembering the most obscure facets of the job for her and demanding they never ask twice about anything. Miranda's extremely perfectionist and precise tactics have made her the most successful fashion editor in the city. She also spoils her twin daughters rotten to make up for not being around more and even has Andy locate the then unpublished Harry Potter "Book 7" manuscript for them. Miranda then ousts Emily from the highly-anticipated Paris trip and prevents a rival from replacing her by giving her a job she had promised another and warning of every employee who would leave the magazine with her.
"Are you wearing the Ch"-- "The Chanel boots? Yes, I am."Explanation It's popular to comment on particularly stylish fashion choices, or at the very least a surprising look, with this exchange between Emily and Andy after the latter gets a makeover and shows up to work in a stunning outfit, including the boots.
Nate is the real villain. Explanation Given Nate's scrappy tendencies, whiny nature, and his generally being a massive Hypocrite, it's quite common for people to dub him the true villain of the film for the horrible way he treats Andy.
Mind Game Ship: Much of the film is Miranda manipulating Andy into being ruthless like herself, and because of this, a lot of shippers have taken to the ship. There are quite a few fics where they have Miranda succeed in the attempt and turn Andy into her perfect match. There are also some where Andy turns the tide and proves herself to be an equal match to her boss. The one constant in these fics is that the two love playing mind games with each other.
One True Threesome: From the movie, Miranda/Andy/Emily is the most popular threesome pairing. It covers two very popular pairings, that of Miranda/Andy and Emily/Andy. It has also been known to sometimes become a foursome, and include Serena. It has the most fanfics of any threesome on Archive of Our Own. It's also very popular on YouTube to make a video about the three.
Portmanteau Couple Name: The most popular one is Mirandy (Miranda/Andy) for the lead character and her boss. There is also Seremily (Serena/Emily).
Ron the Death Eater: Nate is far from the perfect boyfriend in the film, but even with that, the fanbase portrays him as far worse than he actually is. Most fans make him out to be an abusive jerk, when the most he does is get angry at Andy for putting her job first. They also like to ignore his more positive traits, like trying to comfort Andy when she is forced to take Emily's place in Paris. This also comes from a healthy dose of Die for Our Ship, as a lot of Miranda/Andy shippers like to play him as far more aggressive in trying to get her to quit, when in reality he is right about the job changing her, mainly because Miranda admits to trying to do just that.
The Scrappy: Nate, both for his immaturity surrounding Andy's job and the fact that he's a massiveHypocrite about it.
Ship Mates: Miranda/Andy shippers tend to get along great with Emily/Serena shippers, mainly because it gets Emily out of the way of their ship and avoids Ship-to-Ship Combat. They also tend to get along with the small number of Nigel/Doug shippers as well.
Strawman Has a Point: Both Nigel and Miranda tell Andy off in her early days. They do have a point, as she seems to view fashion as being beneath her, which is a tad hypocritical considering she accepted the job. And in this case, knowing about the industry you're working in is kind of important, even if Andy is only an assistant. Miranda's "cerulean" speech punctuates how the industry affects even the lowest working class consumer.
Unfortunate Implications: Here about the movie implying that it was impossible for a woman to be successful in both business and relationships - since Miranda is shown to be Married to the Job and neglects her family, with the movie implying Andy is going the same route as her career progresses.
Unintentional Period Piece: One of the "impossible" tasks that Miranda assigns to Andy is to acquire a manuscript to an unpublished Harry Potter book for her kids, which became dated in the year after the film released when the final Harry Potter book was published. Note that while the films release year indicates they were talking about "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" they never actually say that its the seventh book; just unpublished Harry Potter manuscript. Its only in a "blink-and-youll-miss" moment with the twins on the train that shows the manuscript is indeed "Harry Potter 7". Given that other Harry Potter stories in the official franchise have been published since the film was released, had that moment not happened they could have narrowly avoided it.
Unintentionally Sympathetic: Andy has a terrible job that she ends up being determined to make the best of, and she happily shares the designer swag she gets with her friends. Said friends then toss her phone around and criticize her for "changing" when all she essentially did was put on nicer clothes.
Andy's friends are rather nasty, many thinking their attitude of throwing Andy's phone around while her boss is calling is way out of line. Lily blames Andy for Christian kissing her, not allowing Andy a chance to explain the situation.
Nate especially gets this, complaining about Andy working so late (despite it being the responsible thing for her to do) and whining about her missing his birthday (because she had to help cover for a sick coworker, something she had no control over).
Vanilla Protagonist: While Andy's not a bad character and Anne Hathaway does a good job portraying her, some find her a bit bland and overshadowed by her supporting characters, and everyone agrees that Miranda is far more interesting and Meryl Streep completely steals the show. It's telling that despite Hathaway portraying the true lead, Streep was the one who sucked up all the leading awards and nominations.
What an Idiot!: Miranda Priestly is the editor-in-chief of Runway magazine and a Bad Boss. Even so, she's established as a smart woman who clawed her way to the top. While she's trying to fly back from Miami to New York, a hurricane hits. She wants to get home to see her daughters' recital You'd Expect: Miranda would accept that she's not getting home in time for her twin girls' recital. Hurricanes kill people! Instead: She calls Andrea, her new junior assistant, and expects her to find a private jet and pilot to take her home in time. Predictably: Andy fails because no one with any common sense will fly in the middle of a hurricane. Miranda of course goes Never My Fault and tells off Andrea for telling a pilot to risk his life for the editor of Runway.
Nightmare Fuel: Many of their music videos, including Assistant To The Regional Manager, which plays more like a Tool music video, First Sight with its disturbing stopmotion and concept, Hey John, Whats Your Name Again?, showing a young boy killing a bird with a slingshot, blood and all, and Planet A, where a female astronaut spends the entire video traveling through space, only to end up in a completely white, empty dimension way beyond the reaches of space. Nothing Is Scarier indeed.
Zombie EP and Space EP are this trope in its entirety.