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The original is a 1958 novella by Truman Capote about a nameless gay writer's friendship with Holly Golightly, a bi-curious, borderline Hooker with a Heart of Gold. The story was a touching meditation on the varying nature of love, and how people of disparate backgrounds can form unconventional family groups.
Later it was adapted into that famous movie where Audrey Hepburn wears a fabulous Givenchy dress and holds a cigarette in a holder. In this version Holly probably isn't a hooker (though she does seek out wealthy men to have flings with), and the gay writer is now a straight gigolo — or something close to it — named Paul Varjak who has a tumultuous relationship with Holly.
The movie Breakfast at Tiffany's was added to the National Film Registry in 2012.
Not to be confused with the song of the same name, by Deep Blue Something.
- Asian Speekee Engrish: Mickey Rooney's portrayal of Mr. Yunioshi in the movie follows this.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: You try sleeping not only in full, perfect makeup with your hair done up, but also with a sleeping mask on.
- Or running through the rain while crying. Then again, she is Audrey Hepburn.
- Blithe Spirit: Holly, naturally.
- Did Not Get the Girl: In the book, it's stated right off the bat that it had been years since the main character had ever seen or heard from Holly, and that she may well be somewhere in Africa at this point, and apparently the cat she threw out found a new home.
- Enjo Kosai: What Holly does in the movie.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Holly's cat is named...Cat.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: For a film in which the two lead characters are more-or-less prostitutes, it's remarkably roundabout in its approach to sexuality.
- Happy Rain: The final kiss between Paul and Holly takes place in a torrential downpour.
- Kick the Dog: When Holly abandons her cat in an alley, it's the ultimate sign that she's selling out for a soulless life of luxury. And going back to find him is her redemption.
- The Little Black Dress
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Holly in the film.
- May-December Romance: Holly's husband was much, much older than her, and had several kids before marrying her. Holly was still a teenager when they got married, and it sounds like their marriage was relatively innocent, with her doing nothing but sitting around at home all day.
- Meaningful Name: What better surname than "Golightly" could there be for a free-spirited ditz with an unserious approach to life?
- Noted in the book with her hanging a sign on her door whenever she was out, "Golightly traveling".
- My God, What Have I Done?: Holly, about one minute after abandoning Cat in the rain.
- Precision F-Strike: Holly, when abandoning her cat. Doubly precise considering the meticulousness of Truman Capote's prose.
- Qipao: In the film version, the two Chinese girls who show up at the party both wear qipaos.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Paul to Holly, in the penultimate scene of the film.
- Redemption in the Rain: The climax of the film.
- Romantic False Lead: Jose (the movie, mostly).
- Sleep Mask: Holly has one.
- Smoking Is Glamorous
- Yellowface: Mickey Rooney's role as the buck-toothed stereotype-Japanese Mr. Yunioshi is a notorious example.
- Wakeup Makeup: See Beauty Is Never Tarnished, above.