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The Virgin Suicides is a novel by Jeffrey Eugenides about the death of suburbia in the late 60s. The story is told from the point of view of a group of teenage boys who are fixated on the beautiful, sheltered, and enigmatic Lisbon girls: Bonnie, Mary, Lux, Therese and Cecilia. Armed with stolen diaries, photos, an intimate knowledge of the girls' incoming mail, and a telescope, the boys seek to solve the mystery of the girls' existence. The entire book is about the boys trying to find out the motives of the girls and the reason why they come to such an untimely end.
- Adaptation Distillation: Despite setting Lux as the main character, Sofia Coppola's 1999 version is very loyal to the novel.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Trip Fontaine, designated pot-smoking Mr. Fanservice.
- Bath Suicide: Subverted. Cecilia attempts this, but survives.
- The Charmer: Trip Fontaine has shades of this. He is generally quite gentlemanly about his conquests.
- Childhood Memory Demolition Team: The trees in the neighborhood are being cut down because of a spreading disease. The Lisbon girls try to prevent the tree in their front yard from being cut down because of how much it meant to Cecilia.
- Creepy Child: Slightly averted with Cecilia.
- Dead Little Sister: The girls are said to have winked passing Cecilia's open casket.
- Driven to Suicide: The motives of the girls are never truly disclosed. Only with Cecilia do we get anything close to insight.
Doctor: What are you doing here, honey? You're not even old enough to know how bad life gets.
- Evil Matriarch: Mrs. Lisbon. Oh God Mrs. Lisbon...
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The novel is about virgins who commit suicide. Subverted, probably intentionally, because Lux does not die a virgin.
- Foregone Conclusion: Look at the title.
- Girl Next Door: The Lisbon girls, though they are of a particularly hard-to-approach variety.
- Greek Chorus: The boys are often described as this, though author Eugenides himself disagrees somewhat and believes the trope only gets attributed to them because of his (Greek) last name.
- Hair of Gold: Invoked with the Lisbon girls; lots of attention is drawn to their blonde hair and ethereal beauty.
- Handsome Lech: Trip Fontaine
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Cecilia. She does it herself.
- In Medias Res: The story begins with the paramedics taking away Mary's dead body
- Ladykiller in Love: Trip develops a intense and passionate crush on the elusive Lux, having previously never had more than a passing interest in any girl. However, after they have sex on the football field he "just gets sick of her right then and there", leaves, and the two of them have no further contact.
- Loving a Shadow: For all their supposed love toward the Lisbon girls, it turns out that ultimately the boys know very little about who they really were as people.
- Making Love in All the Wrong Places: Lux Lisbon has a succession of encounters on the roof of her house.
- Mama Bear: Mrs. Lisbon. Dear god Mrs. Lisbon.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: The Lisbon sisters represent a more subdued type to the narrators.
- Proud to Be a Geek: Mr. Lisbon, at least in the movie. Want to see his model airplanes?
- Riddle for the Ages: Why did the girls commit suicide?
- Stalking Is Love: The narrators' infatuation with the Lisbon girls.
- Standard Fifties Father: Subverted with the weak and ineffectual Mr. Lisbon. Any attempt he makes in being this is to no use as his family crumbles around him.
- Starts with a Suicide: Opens with Cecilia's first suicide attempt. Her second, successful one is what really sets the story in motion.
- Unreliable Narrator
- Virgin Power: The possible reason why the girls are so fascinating. Well, except that one...
- Women's Mysteries