The girl next door is sweet, bubbly, cute, and very much out of their crush’s league, although they don’t even realize it. She’s the girl everyone wants to be friends with and yet no one can ever measure up to her in the eyes of the audience. Just think Jessica Day in New Girl and Winnie Cooper from The Wonder Years.
Both are captivating and sometimes unapproachable, even though they are kind-hearted. They are loyal to a fault, and often it gets them into some trouble. Keep scrolling to read about some of TVs best girl-next-door characters and what made them the apple of everyone’s eyes.
Rachel Green, from the critically-acclaimed sitcom Friends, is the epitome of the girl next door. Originally portrayed as a spoiled New York girl, Rachel soon proves to be fiercely loyal and tries her hardest to be a good friend. Although it takes some time, Rachel is able to figure out how to live as an average broke New Yorker.
As the show progressed season after season, viewers saw Rachel grow from a self-absorbed individual to someone much more likable and real. Tack on her ongoing on-again-off-again relationship with Ross, and the quirky Rachel places herself as one of the top girls next door.
From the pilot episode of Dawson’s Creek, it was obvious that Joey Potter was the girl next door. Coming into her teenage years, Joey is trying to figure herself out, and that includes her newly exposed feelings for her long-time friend Dawson.
The character is relatable, as she struggles with her feelings throughout the entire series. Like many teenage girls, she copes with jealousy, anxiety, and boy issues, all while trying to live a normal life. Joey’s girl-next-door personality made her one of the favorite castmates among critics, saying that she and Pacey are one of the best TV couples of all time.
Topanga is the main love interest in the coming-of-age sitcom Boy Meets World. At first, the character is this charming hippie chick who seems way too worldly for her young age. Then as the series progresses, Topanga grows out of her awkwardness and becomes a beautiful young woman.
Although she grows up, Topanga never grows out of being a competitive know-it-all. But her yearning for success doesn’t make Corey love her any less. Both characters have loved each other pretty much their entire lives, so, thankfully, they end up together in the end. This is how it should be with any girl-next-door character!
The eldest of the three Brady girls, Marcia, was what every teenage girl wanted to grow up to be like. She was smart, pretty, and everyone at school seemed to love her. Marcia was the girl next door not only in personality, but also with her stereotypical blonde hair and overall innocent look.
In The Brady Bunch, it seemed as though Marcia could do no wrong, a general thought that wasn’t too far from the mark. But when it comes to the girl next door, doing no wrong and being well-liked are two of their biggest personality traits! Marcia was just playing her part!
On the much-loved sitcom Full House, D.J. Tanner is known for loving her family, quirky next neighbor, and best friend, and for being the oldest of the three Tanner girls. D.J. is beloved because she typically keeps a level head during tough situations and isn’t known to overreact. Well, unless it’s her father embarrassing her in front of her friends or a boy.
She’s the girl next door because she’s a great role model for her sisters. She shows them that there is never a reason to be disrespectful to someone, but if you do, apologize quickly and learn from your mistakes.
In That ’70s Show, Donna Pinciotti is known for being the witty red-head who has a crush on the guy next door. The character is laid back and a bit of a tomboy, to the point where she doesn’t really know how to express her inner feminine side when the occasion strikes.
Donna is definitely the most intimidating member of the group, but it doesn’t stop her from eventually getting together with Eric, her long-time crush. And together, the two of them act as the parents for their rag-tag group, as they tend to be the more responsible pair.
Ashley Banks is the youngest and arguably the favorite child of the Banks family on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The young girl idolizes her cousin Will, following him around in her younger days. When she becomes a teenager, her rebellious side comes out, probably because her parents tried to control her life.
They didn’t want her to be a “typical teenage girl.” It doesn’t matter, though, Ashley typically did whatever she wanted and then had to learn hard life lessons when her parents were correct. But she loves her family and is loyal to them, even though her older sister can get on her nerves at times.
Although we see what’s actually going inside Lizzie’s mind via her animated alter-ego, Lizzie McGuire is typically a level-headed, sweet, and caring teenage girl. Per teenage girl stereotypes, Lizzie goes through a lot of changes throughout her high school years, trying to get a sense of who she wants to be.
Thankfully, she scrapped her rebellious and rude phase, going back to her normal quirky self who hangs with Miranda and Gordo. The latter has a serious crush on Lizzie but has to wait around and watch as she tries to flirt with the cool guy, Ethan Craft. She chooses the right guy eventually, like the girl next door always does!
The eldest daughter of the House Stark, Sansa, is known for being romantically inclined. The red-headed girl is interested in music, poetry, and romantic literature, and daydreams about being with a prince one day. Unfortunately, she soon realizes that real-life romance is nothing like what she reads about, as she’s thrown into abusive relationship after abusive relationship.
Sansa comes out on top, though, realizing her inner wolf to become the Queen of the North. When it comes down to it, this girl next door realized that there is nothing in the world more important than family loyalty and trust.
Juggling being a half-witch while living in the mortal realm is just a typical day for Sabrina Spellman. This girl-next-door character isn’t a typical one, as she has to hide her supernatural abilities from her best friend and boyfriend, Harvey Kinkle.
Along with being a mortal teenager, Sabrina quickly learns that not all things can be solved using magic. With the help of her two aunts and a talking cat, Salem, Sabrina learns how to use her powers properly and not abuse them. And while she might not be an ordinary teen, she is definitely not afraid to speak her mind!
Betty Cooper is the pretty girl next door in the hit television series Riverdale. She is known for having a crush on her long-time best friend, Archie, even though she’s dating Jughead. Although she is typically good-natured, Betty has a dark side to her, and she isn’t as innocent as she first appears.
The character has the stereotypical girl-next-door looks and personality, with good grades and popularity. But it is soon realized that, along with her group of friends, she harbors some inner demons and proves that she’s a lot more than a pretty face.
Serena Van Der Woodsen
Gossip Girl’s Serena van der Woodsen has everything going for her: good looks, money, and a 14-room penthouse suite she lives in with her family on 5th Avenue in Manhattan. She is the quintessential girl next door, having a charismatic and charming way about her. It’s too bad that is the exact reason why so many people at her ritzy boarding school think she gets everything she wants.
It’s the character’s personality and seemingly effortless ways that make people either love her or hate her. But when it comes to Serena or her best friend Blair, most people will side with the tall blonde bombshell.
The Big Bang Theory’s token girl is Penny, who lives across the hall from two of the four main science guys. She is tall, pretty, outgoing, and completely out of the genius guys’ leagues. Yet, she falls in love and eventually marries one of them, Leonard.
She is known for being a great friend but can have a temper if she feels as though she is being put down in any way. This is because she’s lived her whole life being “that girl,” and she doesn’t want people to think she is stupid, especially when she hangs out with Sheldon.
Saved By the Bell‘s Kelly Kapowski is the all-American girl next door. She is the captain of the softball, volleyball, and swim teams on top of being part of the cheerleading squad at her school. Because of her sweet personality and good looks, she is considered to be one of the most popular girls at school.
Although almost every guy at school wants to date her, Kelly is loyal to her crush Zach Morris. The two date throughout high school and wind up getting married by the end of the show.
Jessica ‘Jess’ Day
Jessica Day from New Girl is the girl next door who just happens to live with the guys. The character isn’t used to having guy friends, let alone living with them, but she makes it work. She doesn’t apologize for her quirky personality and never gets embarrassed when she does something abnormal in public.
Jess is herself 100 percent of the time, and that’s what her friends love about her. She’s goofy, an optimist, and has way more faith in people than she probably should. But that’s just how she rolls. She goes on a few dates throughout the series, but she finds her true love in her roommate, Nick.
Winnie Cooper is the girl everyone wants to be. The Wonder Years character is kind-hearted, smart, and wholesome. She knows that her neighbor and best friend Kevin Arnold has a crush on her, but she doesn’t want to ruin their friendship by getting into a relationship.
But they’re teenagers, so that doesn’t last, and they end up together! There’s something about Winnie that draws people to want to befriend her. She is the essence of an all-American girl next door, loved by everyone.
Although she might not look like the stereotypical girl next door, Alex Dunphy is a diamond in the rough. This character is quirky, smart, and super close to her goofball family. Alex is highly-motivated in her studies and is arguably the most intelligent of her other two siblings.
Because of her no-nonsense attitude, Alex tends to be overly sarcastic while talking to others. Even though her dry humor is typically right on point, most people in her family don’t understand it. This character is not overly girly, so she tends to get jealous of how easily guys fall over her old sister. Her awkwardness does get her boyfriends, though!
While Elena Gilbert is portrayed as the mean girl in the Vampire Diaries novels, the television adaptation has her as more of a girl-next-door type. Elena is popular, beautiful, and has a close-knit group of friends. She is also very protective of her younger brother because they lost their parents at such a young age.
Throw two vampire brothers into the equation, and she becomes popular in the supernatural world, too. Elena is selfless and loyal to a fault. She even takes the fall for one of her best friends, ending up in a sleeping beauty-like slumber for as long as her friend is alive.
Rory Gilmore is the quiet, junk-food-eating, book-loving girl next door. She lives with her single mom, who Rory considers to be her best friend. The two pretty much grow up together, as her mom is a bit on the younger side.
While most of her girl classmates find her to be threatening, guys enjoy her brilliance and energy. The character is also self-motivated and determined, wanting to try her hand at higher education at Harvard. Rory has a few boyfriends throughout Gilmore Girls, and the answer to who she ends up with is up for debate, as the revival never says!
While her alter pop-star ego, Hannah Montana, is not exactly the girl next door, the quirky southern girl Miley Stewart certainly is. When she’s not on stage singing in front of sold-out crowds, Miley is a typical teenage girl, dealing with boy issues and getting into shenanigans with her two best friends.
She likes to joke around, but when the situation calls for it, Miley can be serious and get down to business. The character is fiercely loyal to her friends and family, and when one of them goes behind her back, she takes it extremely personally, typically writing a song to express her feelings.
Even though we rarely see Pam Beasley out of the office, she can still be categorized as a girl next door. She is cute, personable, and has the eyes of pretty much each guy at the office. Pam has a very dry sense of humor and isn’t afraid to pull pranks with her crush, Jim.
Both Pam and Jim like each other, and the viewers have to wait a long time to see them together and not off in some other relationships, all while still pining over the other. At least they end up married and with a family.
Samantha Micelli from Who’s the Boss? grows up being raised by her widowed father, a retired baseball player named Tony. Being a girl with a single dad who was an athlete, Sam grew up being a tomboy and could regularly be seen carrying around a baseball bat… not exactly what one thinks of when they think of a girl next door.
But then we watch as Samantha turns into a young adult. Her innocence, beauty, and cute personality are what make viewers fall in love with her, as well as some of the boys who come knocking on her door!
Although she goes for a guy twice her age while she’s still in high school, out of all of the “liars,” Aria Montgomery is considered to be the girl next door. She is cute, well-read, and doesn’t care about the taboo nature that comes with dating a high school English teacher while she’s still in that same school.
Because of what she and her friends go through during Pretty Little Liars, Aria has learned to read people along with her beloved books. She is fiercely loyal and goes to extreme measures to take care of her friends, who are being stalked by “A” alongside her.
The troubled yet lovable character Marissa Cooper is what one would call an unconventional girl next door. Her wealth and status mask her partying ways and emotionally distant home life. The one thing Marissa does have going for her is her core group of friends, Ryan, Seth, and her best friend Summer, who all try to keep her grounded.
While Marissa has an on-again-off-again relationship with the actual boy next door, Ryan, he wants her to get her act together before they can be a couple. He tends to be the one constant in her life that she can rely on.
Haley James Scott
Haley James Scott is the epitome of a girl-next-door character. She is cute, quirky, and will do anything to protect her best friend Lucas from his bullying half-brother, Nathan. That all goes sideways, however, when Haley and Nathan fall in love, have a kid, and then get married.
Regardless, they stay faithful to each other until the end. Haley is seen going from a book-smart girl-next-door to a loving mom, wife, and English teacher. She takes up a position at the very high school she met her soulmate at, where she was continually called “tutor girl.” Haley is one of those characters everyone aspires to be.
Tia Landry And Tamera Campbell
On Sister, Sister, Tia Landry and Tamera Campbell, although twins, couldn’t be more different. The two teens are each considered to be the girl next door for different reasons. While Tia is honest, a straight-A student, and a bit mature for her age, her sister is the opposite.
Tamera loves to be impulsive, and while she is just as smart as her sister, she is known not to apply herself to her studies. But it’s those differences that make them complement each other perfectly!
Laurie Partridge is the oldest sister in The Partridge Family. She is the apple of her family’s eye and knows how to turn on the charm to get what she wants. Oh, and she can sing like an angel, which makes this girl next door the center of everyone’s attention when they watch her perform.
The character is extremely loyal to her family, and her brothers always have her back. There is nothing the Partridge family wouldn’t do for each another, Laurie included.
Girls’ Shoshanna Shapiro is bubbly and innocent, making her the girl-next-door character out of her otherwise wild friends. Her personality isn’t self-centered, and she would rather be silly than pretend to be something she isn’t. But that little trait sometimes winds up getting her into socially awkward situations.
She is a very relatable character, avoiding risky situations and being responsible. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t enjoy going out with her friends. Ironically, out of everyone, Shoshanna tends to end up in the occasional odd circumstance.
The Party of Five character Julia Salinger had to grow up fast after her parents passed away in a car crash when she was only 15. Being left to be raised by her older brother, Julia struggles to be a normal teenager on top of the added family responsibility. But she’s highly intelligent and can figure things out.
Because of her high intellect, Julia frequently gets bored and decides to take a walk on the wild side. But at the end of the day, she has a good heart, loves all of her siblings, and would do anything for them.
In That Girl, Ann Marie is every bit the girl next door. She’s a New York transplant, moving to The Big Apple in hopes of making a star out of herself in the acting and modeling industries. In order to be able to afford living while waiting for her big break, Ann Marie takes on a temp job.
She is very independent and is adamant that she’ll make it on her own in the big city. Even so, Ann Marie is bubbly, likable, and every bit the non-New Yorker because of it. But she looks the part, walking down the streets every day like its fashion week.