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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 the Town Girls. Typically pretty in an 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

Comic Books

  • Betty Cooper in the Archie comics.
  • Played with in regards to Gwen Stacy of Spider-Man. 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.
  • Shellie from Sin City is sassy but meek enough to qualify.



  • Rebecca "Becky" Thatcher from Tom Sawyer is classic and makes this Older Than Radio.
  • Harry Potter — Harry's best friend's little sister Ginny Weasley, his helpful intellectual friend Hermione Granger and his loyal optimistic companion Luna Lovegood.
  • Bella's hometown acquaintance Jacob from Twilight.
  • Sweet, shy, and sensible Jane Bennet in Pride and Prejudice is this to neighbor Charles Bingley.
  • Kristy and Mary Anne from The Baby Sitters Club.
  • For Cassie from Animorphs, 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.
  • Jack Weyland's 1990 book tells the story of teenage best friends Michelle & Debra where Michelle chooses to be the good, obedient, religious girl while Debra strays.
  • In Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult, 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.
  • Sunshine has the titular character the vampire-slaying, magic-wielding version.
  • Julie Sims in 1632 is a Girl Next Door with a rifle. Because, you know, all small town Americans are really Badass.
  • Ruby, Ralph's girlfriend in Urn Burial 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.

Live Action TV



  • 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


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

  • In The Fairly Odd Parents, Tootie is a geeky girl who lives near Timmy and quite obviously loves him. Although Timmy at first doesn't return her affections, he sympathizes with her since they both have to deal with Tootie's meaner older sister and Timmy's babysitter, Vicky. According to the Live Action movie Many years later, Tootie returns to town a transformed woman, and Timmy falls in love with her.
  • In American Dragon Jake Long, Rose, at start of the series, has a lot of this trait.
  • Joan to Abe in Clone High.
  • Roxanne to Max in A Goofy Movie.
  • In a male example, Jeremy to Candace in Phineas and Ferb. There's also Isabella for Phineas, who hasn't noticed her feelings yet.
  • Like Buffy, Kim Possible is a double subversion because she's insecure about boys, dating, and the social order, and has very few close friends; however, she's admired by her peers, involved in every school activity, and is an international kung-fu-fighting pro-bono action heroine.
  • In another male example, Gil Nexdor to Susan and Mary Test in Johnny Test.
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