Girl next door
The girl next door is a young female stock character who is often used in romantic stories. She is so named because she often lives next door to the protagonist or is a childhood friend. They start out with a mutual friendship that later often develops into romantic attraction.
A similar expression is "boy next door".
A "girl next door" character is often seen as natural and unpretentious. A trope that evokes nostalgia, it is associated with small towns and more local or even rural ways of life. The girl next door is often portrayed as an innocent virgin who lacks the promiscuity or sexual sophistication that is associated with the big city.
A common cliche is when a male protagonist is caught in a love triangle between two women, he will usually choose the "sweet, ordinary, and caring girl next door" he grew up with rather than a more well-off or beautiful woman with fewer morals. Other times, this character ignores the hero for another male character, despite being the object of his affections.[better source needed]
The character Mary Ann Summers from the TV show Gilligan's Island (portrayed by Dawn Wells) had the girl next door allure, in a contrast with the more glamorous character Ginger Grant (portrayed by Tina Louise). Due to the popularity of the show and the two lead female characters, the question "Ginger or Mary Ann?" became shorthand for asking someone whether they preferred a girl next door type or a more glamorous type.
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- McDonald, Tamar Jeffers (2013-09-27). Doris Day Confidential: Hollywood, Sex and Stardom. London. pp. 77-86. ISBN 978-0857722799. OCLC 862101452.
- "Actress And Singer Doris Day, Hollywood's Girl Next Door, Dies At 97"
- Ebert's bigger little movie glossary : a greatly expanded and much improved compendium of movie clichés, stereotypes, obligatory scenes, hackneyed formulas, shopworn conventions, and outdated archetypes. Ebert, Roger. Kansas City, Mo.: Andrews McMeel. 1999. ISBN 0740792466. OCLC 829154479.CS1 maint: others (link)
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- Erskine, Chris (August 22, 2019). "I invited Mary Ann to a Gilligan-themed tiki party — and she showed up". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
- Fashingbauer Cooper, Gael (September 17, 2014). "Ginger or Mary Ann? 'Gilligan' fans still ponder question". Today. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
- Levine, Michal P.; Schneider, Steven Jay (2003). "Feeling for Buffy: The Girl Next Door". In South, James B. (ed.). Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy: Fear and Trembling in Sunnydale. Open Court. pp. 294–308. ISBN 978-0-8126-9531-1.
- From a review: "To Michal Levine and Steven Jay Schneider ... Buffy is just another unconscious Freudian reality tale starring the proverbial girl next door." - in: Joss Whedon: The Complete Companion: The TV Series, the Movies, the Comic Books, and More
- Frank Rich, Rich (February 20, 1994). "Journal: The Girl Next Door". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2009-05-03. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
- The article criticizes Sports Illustrated for their misuse of term "girl next door": "Otherwise the magazine is still pushing what Ms. Brinkley repeatedly described as the "natural beauty" of "what readers long for -- the girl next door". Who is the girl next door? Her fake name keeps changing but she is still the same empty-headed, smiling, air-brushed mannequin who appeared in Playboy in the 1950s and early 60s..."