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"So, you know in horror movies, where the girl's like 'oh my god, there's something in the basement... let me just run down there in my underwear and see what's going on in the dark.' And you're like 'what is your problem? Call the police!' And she's like 'okay!' But it's too late, because she's already getting murdered -- well, my story's kinda like that."
Jessica Day is a socially awkward young woman, fresh out of a recent break-up with her ex-boyfriend, in search of a new place to stay. When she persuades a trio of men to let her move in with them (mostly through the knowledge that she's friends with a model who's friends with yet more models), they find themselves completely unprepared to deal with Jess's quirky behavior, but still rally around their new roommate.
New Girl provides examples of the following:
- Abuse Is Okay When It Is Female On Male: Averted. Being the only male at his workplace, Schmidt is often on the receiving end of verbal abuse and harassment and it is shown to be very unacceptable.
- Actor Allusion:
- The "Kryptonite" episode has a scene of Jess meeting with her ex-bf on a park bench, imitating a scene in Deschanel's film Five Hundred Days of Summer. Jess also has great difficulty uttering the word "penis", whereas in that same film Summer and Tom have a competition to see who can scream "penis" louder.
- It seems strange that Paul has no interest in porn, considering Justin Long's previous role as a character who is a gay porn actor.
- Jess would know a lot about Bridge to Terabithia making kids cry.
- Nick warns his future-self to be nicer to Coach or "he'll move out and live with another bunch of white people".
- Affectionate Nickname: Jess's ex called her "Jess-Jess," apparently.
- Precisely two people (including Jess) have called Nick "Nicholas," and the other one got snapped at for it.
- "Schmitty"... and, according to "Longest Night Ever" in its flashback, "Schmitters."
- All Men Are Perverts: Averted with Paul. Played straight with Schmidt. Also played straight whenever Cece is involved.
- Played straight while self-completing, as far as Jess is concerned.
- All Women Are Lustful
- The Alleged Car: Winston's truck, professionally deemed as "not officially a car anymore." After it breaks down for good, he reluctantly abandons it and acquires a vintage Chevelle SS convertible (though it's possible the latter is his boss' car and his boss just isn't allowed to drive it anymore because of all his DUIs).
- Potentially Jess' station wagon, which apparently used to be her parents' station wagon, and which she has a long tradition of pushing places when it stalls. Unlike Winston's, it hasn't dropped dead yet, though.
- Almost Kiss: Jess and Nick in "The Landlord." In the most awkward and hilarious context possible.
- Specifically, when about to engage in an accidental threesome with their landlord. Yeah.
- Ambiguously Brown: Cece, although she states in Episode 5 that her parents are Indian. Hannah Simone, who plays her, is a mixture of Indian, German, Italian, Cypriot, and Greek. Lampshaded by Schmidt when explaining to Cece the ingredients he put in a perfume he made for her for Christmas.
Schmidt: Cocoa, because of your brown...-ness...
- Appeal to Vanity: How Nick, Winston, and Jess get Schmidt to get back to his old self in Control. In fact, it's a good way to get him to do stuff in general.
- Artifact Title: Could possibly become this if the show goes on for years and years, because Jess wouldn't quite be a new girl anymore.
- Bad Bad Acting: Jess, during "Wedding" especially.
- WHOOOOOOO AAAAAAAAAAAARE YOUUUUUUUUUUU?
- All four roommates trying to convince the landlord that there were only three of them.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Jess and Nick in "The Landlord." Not to mention their fight in "Tomatoes." The two of them burn off steam in...interesting ways.
- Berserk Button:
- "I told you to water the plants..."
- Do not put your dirty hands anywhere near Schmidt's food.
- Hurting Jess will pretty much anger any member of the main cast and Cece.
- Don't insult Winston's joblessness--or, really, his pride in general. He will go to a strange place and drag you with him.
- And for the love of god, don't interrupt Winston's sleep.
- Beta Couple: Schmidt/Cece. Sort of, then really.
- Winston and Shelby.
- Birds of a Feather: Jess dates Paul, who is just as quirky and musical as she is.
- Temporary roommate Neil also has habits of awkward singing and oversharing, but Jess is too bitter about Nick moving out to appreciate the similarities.
- Possibly reflective of their old friendship, Nick and Winston both have sensible, level-headed exteriors overlying childish and neurotic extremes.
- Black Best Friend: From the second episode onward, Winston. In the pilot and making later appearances, Coach.
- Blatant Lies: The look on Jess' face when she promised not to talk to the landlord, and later her claim to have found her keys lying on the cliff off of which she was meant to have thrown them.
- Bowel-Breaking Bricks: In the pilot Jess discovers Spencer has been cheating on her. We cut to a shot between her legs of a bow hitting the floor.
- Bridal Carry: It's usually around the waist, but Nick has a habit of picking Jess up.
- Brief Accent Imitation:
- Jess frequently slips in and out of a variety of accents, usually when trying to defuse a tense situation.
- Nick's cockney impression when drunk dialing his ex.
- Paul impersonating Jimmy Stewart. During sex. It Makes Sense in Context.
- Butt Monkey: Nick. The writers seem to have decided to make him the show's designated punching bag. And it actually fits his characterization quite well.
- Calvin Ball: True American (from the "Normal" episode) is this for the over-21 crowd. It appears to be a bizarre combination of Drinking Game, Candyland, Hot Lava, and yelling out the names of various American presidents, with additional cryptic details such as "everything you hear is a lie knock on wood" and "there are four zones: the alternate zone is the crazy zone!" And then of course there are the ritual sacrifices with tennis balls.
- The Cast Showoff: If something has Zooey Deschanel in it, it will have singing. Jess will randomly burst into song for no reason.
- Cavemen vs. Astronauts Debate: Nick and Schmidt start off fighting about money and related social norms. They end up fighting about whether or not Midori Sours are trendy. Then they keep fighting about whether or not Midori Sours are trendy.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Schmidt.
- Christmas Episode: "The 23rd."
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Both Nick and Jess at different times.
- Closer to Earth:
- Averted. All the guys are fairly normal; Jess is not. Played straight with Cece though.
- Jess is at least as close to earth as Schmidt (which, admittedly, isn't saying a whole lot for either of them).
- Averted. All the guys are fairly normal; Jess is not. Played straight with Cece though.
- Closet Geek: Pretty much everyone, except Jess who is an uncloseted geek. Schmidt and Cece bond over children's books, Winston wants to live on the moon, Nick expounds on his theories about zombies in writing. There's more.
- "This is President Miller of Earth, I'd like to speak with the Galactic Emperor."
- Clothing Switch: It's convenient that all of Nick's stuff was in a moving van accompanying them when the gang stranded themselves in the desert, because they all layered on Nick's clothing to get through the night. The next day, Nick gave Winston some more of his clothing to change into because he'd gotten lost in the desert over-night and there was "pee everywhere."
- Cloudcuckoolander: Jess, of course. She's played by Zooey Deschanel.
- As the show progresses, however, it's become clear that all the characters have at least a trace of this in them.
- The queen of this trope might be Nadia, Cece's Russian model roommate
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: Jess deals with a Bully in her classroom by making the kid accompany her on one of her songs.
- Cool Old Lady: Cece's grandmother.
- Cringe Comedy:
- Everyone but Jess knows she should be embarrassed.
- Schmidt hitting on Cece can be fairly painful to watch.
- Jess and Paul in the bedroom. Cringe Comedy, personified.
- A drunk Schmidt pushing his very pregnant boss into a pool. Granted she turned out fine and liked it, but with a belly that large, you can't help but cringe.
- "The Landlord." Just "The Landlord."
- The Cynic: Nick. Turns out, he's right about the landlord. Sort of.
- Dance Party Ending: The roommate chicken dance at the end of "Wedding," and all dancing to the same song in their various rooms in collective joy in the season 1 finale -- the chicken dance even comes out again.
- Discontinuity: In the pilot, Jess says the word "penis." In the third episode, she is unable to say it. (Then again it was a little sing-songy in the first episode.)
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Jess and Schmidt attempting to shove a very large turkey into a very small oven. Immediately lampshaded by Schmidt.
Schmidt: We've all been here, am I right?
- Do-It-Yourself Theme Tune:
- Do Not Try This At Home: As demonstrated in one episode, defrosting your turkey in a dryer? Bad idea!
- Dysfunction Junction: Everyone in the apartment to some extent.
- Erotic Dream: In Winston's dream, Jess had raccoon hands and was "digging through his garbage."
- Everyone Can See It: Within a few months of knowing each other, Nick and Jess have got each of their significant others and Cece expressing their suspicions that the two are into each other.
- Extreme Doormat: Jess with Spencer, not just during her emotional state post-breakup but implied during their relationship too. Odd, because she's usually quite able to stand up for herself.
- Failure Is the Only Option: Nick's missed the plane home for Christmas every year.
- Fan Service: Cece in "Cece Crashes."
- Fauxreigner: Schmidt, in an attempt to fool the landlord.
- Five-Man Band:
- Five-Philosophy Ensemble: Nick (Cynic), Schmidt (Realist), Jess (Optimist), Cece (Apathetic), and Winston (Conflicted).
- Five-Temperament Ensemble: Nick (phlegmatic), Cece (choleric), Winston (melancholic), Jess (supine), and Schmidt (sanguine).
- Formerly Fat: Both Jess and Schmidt.
- Friend to All Children: Winston, seemingly.
- Friends with Benefits / Secret Relationship
- Funny Foreigner: Nadia, Cece's Russian model roommate.
- Genre Savvy: Part of the reason why Julia doesn't like Jess is because she can see that she is the "mean lawyer girl" while Jess is the "nice teacher girl."
- Guy/Girl of the Week: Paul and then Russell for Jess and Julia for Nick, though technically each hung around for more than one episode.
- Chloe, and to a lesser extent Nick's many other college girls. And some of Schmidt's conquests.
- Go Mad From the Revelation: This is basically what happens when people find out Schmidt and Cece are sleeping together. Winston, especially.
- "Is that a stop sign? Maybe its a go sign. Because if somebody like you is sleeping with somebody like her, then maybe the whole damn world is upside down."
- Hello, Attorney!: Nick's girlfriend, Julia.
- Hello, Nurse!: Cece. Even Nick goes a little crazy for her.
- Hidden Depths: Winston's bell skills.
- Schmidt's cooking skills.
- Cece's dad died when she was a kid.
- Hollywood Nerd: Jess, a Type 2 example, as is Paul
- Hollywood Sex: Inverted completely by Jess and Paul. It's actually a little hard to watch.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold:
- Jess attempted to invoke this as part of a sex fantasy. It doesn't work.
- When trying to hire a stripper for Schmidt's birthday, she asks for one with a heart of gold "and a crotch of gold, too."
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Socially, Cece's this to Jess.
- I Take Offense to That Last One: When we first meet Jess' friend Sadie, she has just heard the story of Nick's girlfriend insulting Jess' entire personality as being a quaint ploy for attention. The first thing out of Sadie's mouth is "I'm sorry, she doesn't like desserts?"
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Jess resolves on doing this for Nick in the finale, inspired by Schmidt's more delusional version of "White Fang-ing" (as he calls it) in relation to Cece.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The majority of the episodes thus far have consisted of a single-word title.
- Inelegant Blubbering: Both Paul and his girlfriend are "ugly criers."
- Ironic Echo: "Dip your toe in the pool of possibilities."
- Its Pronounced Tropay: Schmidt's pronunciation of the word chutney. He pronounces it chuh-te-nay. In several episodes.
- Jiggle Show: The girl dressed as a Native American in the pilot.
- Large Ham: Winston's strategy for getting a girl out of the apartment involves a dramatic monologue about his love affair with Nick.
- Laughing Mad: "My shoes are filled with blood!" And then she cackles insanely before having to be carried away.
- Like an Old Married Couple: Jess and Nick, especially as of "The Landlord," where they combine constant bickering with protectiveness and doing everything together, including hosting a dinner party and getting into a sexual situation.
- Living Emotional Crutch: Nick's worried he's become this for Jess.
- Local Hangout: That unnamed bar where Nick works.
- Long List: On a date with Schmidt, Cece's Russian roommate Nadia starts rattling off things she likes about America:
- Los Angeles: It's revealed in the Thanksgiving episode that the show is set in L.A.
- Man Child: Paul acts like this sometimes, being an elementary school teacher.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: It's a Zooey Deschanel character, what did you expect? After all, she has a lot of the characteristics and quirk of a classic MPDG. Unlike most examples, though, it's frequently Played for Laughs.
- It can oftentimes be an inversion from the usual setup, in which Jess is whose life is a mess and needs help, knowing they're all a mess. They all try to help one another. Sometimes they actually succeed.
- May-December Romance: Jess/Russell.
Schmidt: Nick is delicate, like a flower. A chubby, damaged flower who hates himself.
- Modesty Bedsheet: Justified in one memorable case when Cece wrapped up in Schmidt's blankets before walking out into a living room full of his roommates. Of course, why she didn't just put on her own clothes, or even his, before wandering around in front of his friends is another question.
- My Name Is Not Durwood: When doing Nick the favor of pretending to be his girlfriend to make his ex jealous, Jess adopts a ditzy personality that involves persistently getting the ex's name wrong.
- Nerd Nanny: They take turns. Even Jess!
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero / Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: When Nick gets a cactus from Julia during "Bully" he assumes it's some kind of sign that she wants to break up. It wasn't. At first. After a series of pitiful phone messages explaining his reasoning, Julia starts believing it, and breaks up with him.
- It's more that his series of messages make her decide she can't deal with someone that neurotic.
- Noble Male, Roguish Male: Nick and Schmidt. The former is emotional, unused to casual flings, and dislikes "throwing a woman out like a piece of meat"; the latter identifies that as exactly his problem and coaches him on how to be a douchebag.
- Noisy Shut Up: Poor, poor Winston in "Secrets."
- No Name Given:
- Schmidt, as that is obviously a last name and not his first.
- Coach is an example of the Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep" subtrope.
- No Sparks: In "Tomatoes," Jess breaks up with Russell when she realizes she'll never have the passion she wants with him.
- Not So Different: A big theme of the show is how however they may seem, everybody is a big weirdo on the inside. The guys are initially unsettled by Jess' quirks, but their own quirks become rapidly apparent.
- Jess and Nick have are apparently opposites in temperament, but they're both sentimental, generally cautious, instinctive caretakers, and laugh at a lot of the same things.
- If anything, Schmidt probably freaks strangers out more than Jess does.
- After girly, oddball Jess, former jock Winston is the most openly geeky of the friends. The two of them are also the calmer ones in the loft.
- Oblivious to Love: When she was a kid, there was a boy named Eduardo who had a crush on Jess who thinks he has a crush on Cece.
- Odd Friendship: Model sophisticated Cece and socially awkward Jess.
- Miserable, people-hating cynic Nick and adorkable optimist Jess seem to be very close too.
- Once an Episode: In each of the first four episodes, the roommates do something embarrassing or un-manly in support of Jess: singing songs from Dirty Dancing in public, wearing her hats, dancing in slow-motion, and using the feeling stick.
- Inverted in Bully, where Winston insulting one of her students on her behalf to the kid's parents and Nick tearfully protesting a threat to have her face disciplinary action just make Jess' situation worse.
- One Steve Limit: She isn't seen, but it's averted when Cece and Jess discuss a "Jessica freaking P." they went to school with as kids.
- Only Sane Man: Alternates between Winston and Nick, but usually it's Nick.
- As of Fancyman pt. I, it's highly arguable that this is untrue in Nick's case. Meanwhile, Winston is the one person to suggest Jess handle a problem with a simple, mature apology...he gets shouted down. Of course, Winston gets dating advice from a little boy in the same episode, so maybe no one is sane.
- It could be argued that Nick is crazy but is able to avoid letting it get in the way of his life too much and is much better at hiding it than Schmidt or Jess. Nick can observe the madness but doesn't necessarily take part.
- Whenever the guys are taking part in screw-ups or pettiness in ways typical to men who lack understanding, however, Winston is often the one guy with "feminine" wisdom and can serve as another moral voice like Jess to (try to) keep the guys in line.
- The One Guy: Schmidt is this at his work place. Interestingly, however, his status at his work place is typically shown using typical one-female-among-many-males workplace tropes such as co-workers dismissing his work due to being a different gender, superiors sexually harassing him, and so forth rather than shown as some sort of dream job. In addition, these situations are also subverted in that they are typically shown as the truly harmful behaviors they are in order to bring light of the Double Standard - Schmidt doesn't like being told to dress like a slutty Santa at the office holiday party, for instance, as he feels it belittles him even if it does give him a chance to socialize and network.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Jess is generally pretty gentle, so on those occasions where she does raise her voice or throw her weight around, the others are taken aback and stop offering resistance because this is obviously a big deal.
- Operation: Jealousy: Two episodes in a row, Schmidt did this to Cece.
- Over-the-Shoulder Carry: Schmidt drags Cece away from a fight with another woman this way.
- Pep Talk Song: One of Jess' quirks is her tendency to give herself songs meant to boost her own confidence.
Jess: She's goin' out to find a rebound... Who's that girl? It's Jess!
- "Nick Miller, Nick Miller, from the streets of Chicago..."
- Power Trio: Schmidt is the Id, Winston is the Ego, and Nick is the Superego.
- Put on a Bus: Due to the unexpected renewal of Damon Wayans Jr.'s series Happy Endings, his character Coach was sent away after the pilot and replaced with Winston.
- Random Events Plot: A lot of the episodes are a sequence of thrown-together character scenes that don't prioritize punchlines.
- Rant-Inducing Slight: After Nick spends all day disapproving of Paul, Jess gives us this gem:
Jess: I want to have sex with him big time! Big time! I want to take him down to Chinatown and slice him off a piece of this pumpkin pie, okay? I want to do all the things that you do in a bedroom with him! I want to do it standing up and sitting down and half-up and half-down and the Wiggly One and the Bear Attack and the claws in the head and the one that figure skaters do and the "what's for lunch?" and the "gimme that hat!" The point is that I'm good. I'm really good and I don't care what you think!
- Real Men Wear Pink: For all that they have some typically male tendencies and insecurities, the three guys have never exhibited any trouble hugging each other, telling each other or other people they love them, or crying. Schmidt in particular is also not averse to kissing his male friends (although Nick tells him multiple times to stop "Fredo-kissing" him when they think that Nick has cancer). There's also his cooking, Winston's comfort with girl talk, and Nick's claim to be good with babies.
- Winston's a nanny for awhile, and he and the kid Elvin are total buddies.
- Really Gets Around: Schmidt, and possibly Cece.
- Nick, for awhile there.
- Recurring Character: Cece.
- The show's already racked up a lot of recurrers to smaller degrees.
- Running Gag:
- "Douchebag jar!"
- Twice in "The Story of the 50" we get montages of him walking in and saying things that force him to put money in the jar. And in one case, he doesn't even have to say anything at all.
- When Cece has a pregnancy scare, Jess suggests "We could get it, like, a douchebaby jar."
- Shirtless scenes of Schmidt and his attempts at impressing Cece.
- Schmidt and an apparent love/preference for anything Asian.
- "Douchebag jar!"
- Sarcasm Mode
- Second Episode Introduction: Winston.
- Secret Relationship: Schmidt and Cece initially, at Cece's insistence. However, in "Fancyman, Part 2" they're discovered by Winston after he steals Schmidt's car while they're having sex in the back of it, drives to Mexico, and is stopped and searched by U.S. Customs on the way back. Then, in the next episode, Winston tells Nick, and...
- Security Cling: That's how Nick and Jess deal with coyotes.
- Sex for Solace: In the pilot Jess's new roommates decide to help her find a man to use for a rebound, for which they give her extensive coaching.
- Sexy Shirt Switch: Jess sees Caroline come out of Nick's room wearing one of his plaid shirts and explodes.
- Shaggy Dog Story: Control. Efforts to get Schmidt to loosen up are abandoned and he's back to being the dominant force in the house. No one learns how to pick up the slack and take care of oneself in his absence, and anything Schmidt might've learned is unlearned. Also, Nick never does pay Winston back his hundreds of dollars, but Winston stops pressuring him about it.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: Schmidt and Coach's reaction when they see Jess in the Little Black Dress her friend Cece helps her pick out... a reaction which is killed soon after, when Jess breaks into a celebratory dance. This happens again in Episode 3, when Jess is wearing her "Who let the dirty slut out of the slut house?" dress, but promptly kills the reaction again when she dons a pair of false buck teeth and puts on a fake Cockney accent.
- Shipper on Deck: Cece for Nick/Jess and Jess for Schmidt/Cece.
- Ship Tease:
- The half-dozen per episode lingering looks between Jess and Nick can't be coincidence surely.
- Schmidt and Cece get a bit of this during their Holding Hands scene. Also later on when she tries on the perfume he got her.
- Schmidt and Jess get one on his 29th birthday.
- "The Landlord" is made of this trope with Jess and Nick.
- Jess almost wanting to have a one night stand with Schmidt... which ends up happening between Schmidt and Cece.
- Nick and Jess, as well as Schmidt "Fredo kissing" Nick twice, in "Injury."
- *Nick and Schmidt while doing an "exercise" in how to get rid of one night stands, when Jess walks in on them (shortly after finding out about Cece/Schmidt) and is understandably confused.
Nick: I don't dance. I'm from the town in Footloose.
- Slap Slap Kiss: Even after they start hooking up and realizing she likes him, Cece treats Schmidt with a lot of impatience and snappishness. He's nicer to her, though -- unless it involves cooking. And she likes it when he gets angry.
- Sleep Cute: Nick and Jess, and Schmidt and Cece on two occasions.
- Songs of Solace: "The River" by Joni Mitchell.
- Status Quo Is God: The season finale opens on Nick about the move out of the apartment, but he eventually breaks if off with Caroline and goes back to his friends.
- Stepford Smiler: Nick, very transparently, for the first few hours after getting dumped by Julia. And in the same episode, one of Jess' students throws her relationship troubles in her face and suggests that her happiness is a mask.
- Stood Up: Happens to Jess near the end of the pilot, and becomes the basis of her bonding with her roommates when they show up to be reverse-Mormons who sing to her in public.
- Straight Man: Most of the insanity seems to happen around Nick.
- Super OCD: Possibly Schmidt, at least while he's cooking.
- Justified when he figures out that he and Nick have been using the same towel....and that Nick has never washed it. And that Nick sometimes wears his underwear.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Winston, for Coach. Though, perhaps because he's had a lot more time to get used to living with her, Winston's a lot more relaxed and has a much easier time talking to Jess (Coach inadvertently made her cry; in contrast, Winston comforted her when she was upset with the others).
- Lampshaded in "The Landlord" by Remy, who refers to Winston as Coach.
- And Nick as Brad, possibly in reference to the character Damon Wayans Jr. left this show to return to.
- In universe, Jess believes that Jenn, Paul's girlfriend after her, is "Asian me" due to the two women's obvious similarities. Ultimately, she decides she was something Paul happened upon on his way to Jenn, his true love.
- Lampshaded in "The Landlord" by Remy, who refers to Winston as Coach.
- Take That, Critics!: When Nick's new girlfriend Julia makes dismissive comments about Jess's "whole thing" (meaning her sweet/cute/feminine style and demeanor), Jess mounts a defense that can be clearly seen as one of these toward those who have criticized the character (and Zooey Deschanel herself) as excessively twee.
Jess: I brake for birds. I rock a lot of polka dots. I have touched glitter in the last 24 hours. I spend my entire day talking to children. And I find it fundamentally strange that you’re not a dessert person. It freaks me out. I’m sorry that I don’t talk like Murphy Brown. And I hate your pants suit. I wish it had ribbons on it or something just to make it slightly cuter. But that doesn’t mean I’m not smart and tough and strong.
- Team Mom:
- Schmidt, hilariously enough.
- Jess to her students, or when her friends are in trouble/being idiots. Nick remarks on her tendency to take care of everybody.
- That Makes Me Feel Angry: "This makes me hate things."
- The Tell: Everyone knows when Nick is hiding something.
Schmidt: Sweatback? You told Sweatback?!
- Theme Tune Cameo: Jess has performed the show's theme song in-universe a lot. ♪ A Lot! ♪ Starting with the pilot.
- This Is for Emphasis, Bitch: On several occasions.
Jess: I'm going to pay this $800 fine. And my checks have baby farm animals on them, bitch!
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "SPENCER. WORE. JELLIES."
- This Loser Is You: Nick is a bartender who dropped out of law school shortly before getting his degree, who comes off as rather bitter. Winston is currently unemployed and clueless about what he wants to do.
- Those Two Guys: Jess and Winston seem to be the most likely to pair up to geek out or snark on their roommates. Or, you know, have a Sophisticated Man Dance-Off. And at one point Jess created a theme song for their hang-out time.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Julia and Jess' conflict seems to be based around this.
- The Three Faces of Eve: Jess (child), Cece (seductress), Sadie (mother)
- A Threesome Is Hot: Completely and irrevocably averted in "The Landlord." It's somewhere in between Cringe Comedy and Nightmare Fuel, depending on who's watching.
- A Threesome Is Manly: Also averted in the same scene. To top it off Remy is okay with one other guy, but not two.
- True Companions: As an example, two of Jess' roommates show up to her students' science fair -- Winston to help her fix a project for one student, and Nick in turn because Winston is also in the middle of baby-sitting him through a meltdown. There are also the many occasions where they all come together as a group in defense of one of them, and stuff like Jess' ease with telling all of them she loves them, or Schmidt and Nick's comfort with showing affection for each other in public.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: Nick and Jess, occasionally belligerently so, like when she goes home from breaking up with a boyfriend over their lack of passion and immediately gets into a fight with Nick about his horrible life decisions, but usually of the variety where they get along well.
- The Un-Smile: When Nick smiles disingenuously...he suddenly has an awful lot of teeth.
- Unusual Euphemism: Hector J, Harold & Kumar, White Castle, and most of Jess' alternative words for penis.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Jess has seen male nudity so often since moving in with the guys that she doesn't even blink anymore (she used to gigglescream). In Jess & Julia, Schmidt can't find his towel so he walks through the house naked. She doesn't even look up (as much as he wishes she would). First thing in the morning in Fancyman pt. II, she walks in on Nick's friend in the bathroom with his pants down without having bothered to close the door behind him and simply walks sleepily out again.
- Very Special Episode: Episode 15 when Nick was Mistaken for Dying.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Nick and Schmidt seem to spend a lot of time yelling at each other. They're very different and probably not meant to live in close quarters.
- Wacky Fratboy Hijinks:
- Referenced. Apparently Schmidt was in two fraternities in college because he just couldn't decide.
- The invention of Bro Juice.
- Walking Shirtless Scene:
- Schmidt usually finds a way to employ this trope. Not that anyone's complaining.
- This seems to be the primary reason for Schmidt's contributions to the Douchebag Jar.
- Welcome Episode
- We Want Our Jerk Back: Becomes the plot of "Control." Jess gets Schmidt to finally stop being so uptight and nitpicky and to finally relax. Unfortunately, he becomes a little too relaxed, and joins some sort of hippie commune on the beach, stops going to work, and spends the whole day playing a bongo drum. And it turns out that without Schmidt there to nag the other roommates, the apartment falls into chaos, as Winston and Nick have no idea how to shop on a budget (they are in awe at the fact that Schmidt, thanks to his finick and obsession with detail, is able to get the groceries with less than $100), all three of them apparently can't dress without Schmidt's fashion advice, and the apartment starts becoming dirty. At the end of the episode, they coax him back to the apartment, partially by offering him Calvin Klein slacks. By the end, he's obsessively cleaning the apartment, tells Nick "Your hair is doing that thing that I just hate," and in general is back to his usual self...and the roomies couldn't be happier about it.
- What Do You Mean Its Not Horrific: Jess' Kermit impression scares the crap out of Cece.
- What Does She See in Him?: Seems to be everybody's opinion about any woman who dates Schmidt, but turned Up to Eleven when the group finds out about him and Cece.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Schmidt is terrified of the birdcat (cat raised by birds) which lives on the roof.
- Winston is deathly afraid of the dark.
- Will They or Won't They?: Schmidt and Cece. They Do in the Valentine's Day episode, but only after we're teased with the possibility of Schmidt and Jess doing it instead.
- A Worldwide Punomenon: "You know what happens? Schmidt Happens!" Later in the same scene:
Schmidt: Thumb ring, bitch! You got some Schmidt on your face!