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23 Huge Differences Between "The Princess Diaries" Movies And Books

The books took place in New York, not San Francisco.

1. Mia's father is not dead.

Walt Disney Pictures

THIS IS HUGE. He’s alive, and that makes for a lot of strange conflict between the films and books. Also, in the movies, they make him seem like he was such a gem in life, but in the books, he’s like 68% a dick. Still worth a part in the movie.

2. Mia ends up with Michael, NOT CHRIS PINE OR WHATEVER.

Walt Disney Pictures

THIS WAS SO WRONG. Is it nice to see Chris Pine in a movie? Yes. But Mia and Michael are soulmates, and they don’t end up “just being friends.” They belong together, people.

3. In the books, it's "Grandmere," not "Grandma."

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"Grandmere" is quite harsh and judgmental, not reminiscent of Julie Andrews. Cabot didn’t make the crack at the Disney adaptation in her book for nothing.

4. Mean girl Lana's last name is Weinberger, *not* Thomas.

Walt Disney Pictures

IRL, the ~popular girl~ wouldn’t have a nice-sounding name that doesn’t make you lift an eyebrow. Sigh.

5. Lilly has a boyfriend named Boris Pelkowski.

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Boris is one of the first characters mentioned in the books. He's a nerdy violin player who Lilly has a crush on and eventually dates through half the series. That's a huge storyline! He was a friend to both girls. WHERE WAS HE IN THE MOVIES?

6. Mia and Lilly have another friend named Tina Hakim Baba.

Walt Disney Pictures

This romance novel-obsessed friend was arguably one of the best characters in the book series. She’s hilarious, a little immature, and always a sweetheart. She could have had a movie all to herself, honestly.

7. They also had two other friends that they hung out with somewhat regularly, named Ling Su and Perin.

Walt Disney Pictures

These were secondary characters and more friends of Mia’s, but these two are important because they were the only lesbian couple in the series. Though never officially confirmed, Mia knew, and so did we.

8. There is a character in the books, Shameeka Taylor, who isn't mentioned in the films.

Walt Disney Pictures

Because WHY, Disney?! Granted, Shameeka never played as big of a role as Tina, Boris, or J.P., but it still would have been fun to see all of Mia’s friends.

9. The books make Buffy the Vampire Slayer references.

Warner Bros. Television

These were mightily prevalent in the series, believe it or not. Meg Cabot actually wrote a mini book where the subplot was Mia selling her Fiesta Giles action figure to buy Michael a Hanukkah present, but she wanted Military Xander. She got Military Xander.

10. Mia's in a class for the gifted and talented.

Walt Disney Pictures

Mia was in a class for the "gifted and talented," which was basically a study hall. She could never find out why she was in there, even before she found out she was a princess. It was the sight of some of the best jokes in the books.

11. Sometimes, Mia and Lilly really, really hate each other.

Walt Disney Pictures

In the movies, they fight like normal teenage pals. In the books, there’s a pretty strong rivalry, which is WAY more realistic. Mia is a princess, for crying out loud. She has real opportunity to change the world, and Lilly doesn’t, really. That’s a sore spot, especially for a hothead like Lilly.

12. Mia and Michael get together at the Non-Denominational Winter Dance.

Walt Disney Pictures

Well, first, the name of the dance is different in the books than the movies. But, more importantly, this is how Mia and Michael get together, NOT at some grand ball. It was so much more romantic this way. UGH.

13. Mia's little brother's name is Rocky, not Trevor.

Walt Disney Pictures

Helen Thermopolis and Frank Gianini would probably have never named their baby Trevor. End of story.

14. Mia and Lilly both have a crush on a guy named J.P. Reynolds Abernathy IV.

Walt Disney Pictures

Cabot first introduced him in the books as “The Guy Who Hates It When They Put Corn in the Chili” before turning him into a major character and a love interest for both Mia and Lilly. Maybe this wasn't even planned. Either way.

15. Michael's band name was Skinner Box.

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Because it just was.


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My apologies, San Francisco.

17. Mia's neighbor is named Ronnie, not "Mr. Robitussin."

Walt Disney Pictures

"Ronnie" would have been so much cooler. She was the sweetest, though she wasn't in the books very often.

18. Helen Thermopolis' parents, or Mia's "Mamaw and Papaw," appear in the books.

Walt Disney Pictures

Helen's mother is overly involved, and not necessarily in a good way, while her dad takes a quieter role. This, in contrast with the Dowager Princess, would have been hilarious. But no, we had to have Duke Andrew Jacoby instead.

19. Mia has a cousin named Hank Thermopolis.

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He’s an underwear model from Indiana. Yes.

20. Mia's first super-awkward boyfriend Kenny Showalter is nowhere to be seen in the movies.

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Yeah, there was someone before Michael, and he was strangely obsessed with Josie and the Pussycats. That made for an interesting plot in the early books, as his Instant Messenger screen name was JoCrox and no one knew what the hell that meant.

21. Mia's got mad love for Beauty and the Beast.

Walt Disney Pictures

Mia is physically attracted to the Beast. This *may* seem weird, but I’m sure you have a weird attraction a fictional character/fictional monster, too. The movies tried to make her more “normal," but this would have been awesome.

22. Michael's got a past love interest named Judith Gershner.

Walt Disney Pictures

You're kind of supposed to hate her character, because Michael lied about never having slept with her, but that’s all Michael’s fault. Not hers. Also, it would have been epic to see an eighteen-year-old girl clone fruit flies onscreen.

23. And Mia and Lana actually become friends.

Walt Disney Pictures

Because somehow it is possible that the cute cheerleader who was once a bully isn’t actually that horrible after all.

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