Definition of manic pixie dream girl in US English:

manic pixie dream girl


  • (especially in film) a type of female character depicted as vivacious and appealingly quirky, whose main purpose within the narrative is to inspire a greater appreciation for life in a male protagonist.

    ‘she turns the male fantasy of the manic pixie dream girl on its ear’
    • ‘Sofi is the story's manic pixie dream girl there to provide the pulsating literary Old World heart to Karen and Ian's just-the-facts rationality.’
    • ‘All that changes, sort of, when he meets Jordan (Tommie-Amber Pirie), a not-quite manic pixie dream girl who is obsessed with all matters of fate and circumstance.’
    • ‘Indie film guys, I beg you, enough with the manic pixie dream girls already.’
    • ‘With her signature haircut and high girlish voice, Greenwich Village jazz singer Blossom Dearie was the original manic pixie dream girl.’
    • ‘Keaton's Mary is a similar sort of "manic pixie dream girl," like Annie, except she's more pretentious and immature.’
    • ‘In many ways, Amelie is the "manic pixie dream girl" who actually gets the leading role.’
    • ‘Her placid, almost vacant stare simply invites people to draw their own conclusions about St. Vincent as the indie-rock version of a manic pixie dream girl.’
    • ‘In a traditional single story romcom, these figures tend to be the manic pixie dream girls or unrequited objects of affection.’
    • ‘The worst thing about these basic, rolled-up character tropes is that they come with some implication that because manic pixie dream girls are special, all other girls, all these other people with their real people things are less.’
    • ‘His free-spirited but romantically abused sister Kit Kat, played by Lydia Wilson, is a touching refutation of the "manic pixie dream girl" phenomenon that has bedeviled the last generation of romantic comedies.’


Early 21st century: coined by the US film critic Nathan Rabin in a critique of the character type and its prevalence.