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Girls is an HBO dramedy about the exploits of four young women living in New York City. To most, this concept sounds very familiar, but the result is decidedly less glamorous (and probably a bit more realistic) than the other Four-Girl Ensemble that previously aired on the channel.

Written by and starring Lena Dunham, the show follows the lives of four young women transitioning into full-blown adulthood. The girls are:

    • Hannah Horvath (Lena Dunham), The Leader of the group and a recent college graduate who, after being cut-off by her parents, is fired from her interning job after demanding fulltime employment from her boss.
    • Marnie Michaels (Allison Williams), Hannah's best friend and art gallery assistant. A bit of an Ice Queen, she's currently in a relationship with a loving boyfriend, but finds herself bored with him.
    • Jessa Johansson (Jemima Kirke), a drifting, Bohemian Brit who returns to New York after a bit of travelling around. Has a reputation of being unpredictable and flaky.
    • Shoshanna Shapiro (Zosia Mamet), Jessa's American cousin. An excitable Ingenue, Shoshanna is extremely insecure about being a virgin.
Tropes used in Girls (TV series) include:
  • The Alcoholic: Much to Hannah's surprise, Adam is a recovering alcoholic who has been attending AA meetings since age 17.
  • Alliterative Name: The four girls all have them.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: Jessa, since she is the very Jewish Shoshanna's cousin.
  • Badass Damsel: Shoshanna, in episode 7.
  • Breakout Character: While it's too early to be certain, Adam seems to be headed in this direction.
  • California Doubling: A rare example of New York doubling for something else. One of the more suburban areas around the city was used as a stand-in for East Lansing, Michigan, in "The Return".
  • Camp Gay: Elijah
  • Convenient Miscarriage An inversion; Jessa has her period on the day of a scheduled abortion.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Marnie after being propositioned by an artist at a gallery opening.
  • Did Not Do the Research: In-universe. Adam, upon being asked if he gave Hannah HPV. He insists that he recently was tested and doesn't have it and Hannah believes him... but Hannah later learns that no HPV test exists for males.
    • Hannah's semi-panic about having HPV is arguably an example as well, given that about half of all sexually active women in her age range have HPV, and it causes no significant ill effects in the vast majority of cases.
      • On the other hand, for a significant number it does result in cervical cancer.
  • The Ditz: Shoshanna.
  • The Drifter: Jessa.
  • Expy: The Girls easily have their own Sex and the City counterparts; Hannah (Carrie), Marnie (Miranda), Jessa (Samantha), and Shoshanna (Charlotte).
    • Hilariously Shoshanna views herself as being mostly Carrie but with Samantha elements.
  • Fag Hag: Gender-reversed, with Adam and his lesbian friends.
  • Four-Girl Ensemble: See above.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Shoshanna (Sanguine), Hannah (Choleric), Marnie (Melancholic), Jessa (Phlegmatic).
  • Girl-On-Girl Is Hot: Jessa's and Marnie's surprising makeout session in Episode 8.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Jessa, inadvertently, after finding out she's pregnant. Out of anxiety, Jessa purposely avoids making it to the clinic where she is scheduled to have one done, but it soon turns out that she's actually not pregnant when she gets her period at a bar.
  • Grandma, What Massive Hotness You Have!: When it comes to looking good topless, 26-year-old Lena Dunham can't even begin to compare with 59-year-old Becky Ann Baker.
  • Headbutting Heroes / Vitriolic Best Buds: Marnie and Jessa. It's not completely clear if they are actually friends or not…

  Marnie: See, this is what you do. You act like I'm uptight, and then, I follow suit. I become uptight. It's the most frustrating dynamic on the planet. It drives me crazy!

    • In Episode 8 it's made clear that up until then they had a mutual friend in Hannah but really weren't friends with each other. However, their friendship develops - REALLY develops - in this episode.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Hannah and her ex Elijah, which is something Hannah discovers after their relationship.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Jessa's pretty and all but the way people go on about her you'd think she was the most glamorous woman on Earth. Episode 4 is particularly egregious about it when the other babysitters just can't believe a stunner like Jessa is a babysitter and not a movie star.
    • This is particularly striking because both Marnie and Shoshanna fit more common standards of attractiveness.
  • Modesty Bedsheet: On a couple of occasions Marnie has been non-nude in situations that in real life would have involved nudity. Possibly Shoshanna too, though it could be argued that her summer camp friend was in too much of a hurry to have removed her bra.
  • Monochrome Casting: One of the major complaints about the show. It's set in Brooklyn for crying out loud.
    • But then again, it's set in Greenpoint, which has fewer minorities than most Brooklyn neighborhoods.
  • Naive Everygirl: Hannah.
  • No Periods, Period: Averted. Marnie and Hannah swap stories about the regularity (Marnie) and irregularity (Hannah) of theirs, and then there's Jessa's very convenient one.
  • One Word Title
  • The Quiet Game: Adam asks Hannah to play this because of her awkward chatter while they're having sex
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Hannah has a massive tendency to be this at times.
  • Shirtless Scene: Adam has these very frequently, to the point that Hannah lampshades this in one episode.

  Hannah: I don't think I've ever seen him with a shirt on...

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