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Betty Cooper

The girl next door is used to indicate what is seen as general and 'wholesome' femininity. She is neither masculine nor overtly feminine, not promiscuous, but might be a foil to one who is, like the down town girl in Town Girls. Typically pretty in a generalised way, although since it's essentially about her personality, there are several girls of this trope that are considered beautiful in the narrative.

She's the kind of girl the male main character might have known and been friends with all his life. She's easy to talk to, like a Tomboy, but she doesn't force her presence on anybody – or she keeps to herself, like a Naive Everygirl, while not rejecting social interaction. Naturally, the girl next door is every bad boy's fantasy because he is drawn to her "good girl" image, since she has the 'goodness' of the light feminine in Light Feminine and Dark Feminine. Not only is she good, she doesn't act like she's all that.

Often when the Girl Next Door is involved you have one of three types of plots: she is the Unlucky Childhood Friend to the male lead (usually a jock); she has a male Unlucky Childhood Friend that is chasing after her; or she is the Betty in a Betty and Veronica Love Triangle. Occasionally, all three combine in a huge mess. This was used more or less in several movies by John Hughes.

Possibly she is with the main character as childhood, college or High School Sweethearts, but despite what The Other Wiki lists as examples, this is not necessarily so.

The Spear Counterpart, Boy Next Door, is pretty much the same, only, you know, male. Compare with Tomboy and Contrast with Femme Fatale. Also compare with The All-American Boy, who might of course be her High School Sweetheart.

For the 2004 film, see The Girl Next Door. For Numbuh 3 and Numbuh 5, see Codename: Kids Next Door. Also not to be mistaken for Crystal Bernard's album, The Girl Next Door.

Examples of Girl Next Door include:


Anime and Manga

  • The sisters Wakaba and Aoba in Cross Game
  • In Naruto, Tsunade describes Naruto's mother with several "Girl Next Door" traits.
  • Winry Rockbell in Fullmetal Alchemist.
  • Haru Nishimura from Xam'd: Lost Memories.
  • Aoi Sakuraba in Ai Yori Aoshi.
  • Naruko "Anaru" Anjou from Ano Hana is a beautifully well-rounded character of this type.
  • Shirley Fenette of Code Geass.
  • Orihime Inoue in Bleach is classic example of the trope.
    • Though also a bit subverted here since her appearance looks more like Femme Fatale despite her sweet ingenue personality. Ichigo and the other male characters certainly take notice of this and it's source of a lot of humor in many scenes, for example when she is in bikini at the beach.


Comic Books

  • Archie Comics: Betty Cooper.
  • Spider-Man: Played with, with regards to Gwen Stacy. As portrayed in the comics, Gwen was more of an exotic flower whom Peter only met after he left Forest Hill and "went out into the world", i. e. Manhattan and college. She came from an upper-class background, her first boyfriend, Harry, was the son of a millionaire and in her first appearance she was introduced as a high-school beauty queen. However, as she became the Betty to Mary Jane's Veronica, she moved into this.
  • Sin City: Shellie is sassy, but meek enough to qualify.


Film


Literature

  • Animorphs: For Cassie, high fashion is socks that actually match for once. She's also gentle in being the team's moral center and doing what she must but hating the need to fight.
  • The Baby Sitters Club: Kristy and Mary Anne.
  • Harry Potter: Harry's best friend's little sister, Ginny Weasley, his helpful intellectual friend, Hermione Granger, and his loyal, optimistic companion, Luna Lovegood.
  • Michelle & Debra: Jack Weyland's 1990 book tells the story of teenage best friends where Michelle chooses to be the good, obedient, religious girl while Debra strays.
  • Pride and Prejudice: Sweet, shy, and sensible Jane Bennet is this to neighbor Charles Bingley.
  • 1632: Julie Sims is a Girl Next Door with a rifle. Because, you know, all small town Americans are really Badass.
  • Sunshine has the titular character the vampire-slaying, magic-wielding version.
  • Tom Sawyer: Rebecca "Becky" Thatcher is classic and makes this Older Than Radio.
  • Twilight: Bella's hometown acquaintance, Jacob.
  • Urn Burial: Ruby, Ralph's girlfriend, is literally the Girl Next Door; she's lived in the house next door to him since they were born, and whilst not drop dead gorgeous is plenty attractive enough for being familiar and not having any pretensions.
  • Vanishing Acts: In Jodi Picoult's story, Delia is this to Eric, the Victorious Childhood Friend, and Fitz, the Unlucky Childhood Friend. by the end of the book the tables have turned and Eric is the unlucky one.


Live-Action TV


Music


Theater

  • Patrice in 13. Subverted in that Evan has not known her his whole life, rather he has just moved there and she is the first friend he makes.


Video Games


Webcomics


Web Original

  • The protagonist of Take A Lemon is rather upset when a college physics experiment turns her into a classic Girl Next Door overnight. Especially since He used to be a bit of rock guitar playing lech.


Western Animation

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