Well, it was originally a phrase coined by a guy to describe a female character he didn’t like. He later apologised for inventing the term, feeling it had gotten too far out of hand, but-
- I think the damage had already been done, because now it’s used as rather boring, unthinking shorthand to describe ‘a female who is too quirky/too excitable/loves life to the extent it rubs off on those around her’. None of which, I think, makes a bad character. But I’ve heard everyone from Amy Pond to Disney’s Rapunzel to Clementine from Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind called a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. It’s as pointless as the term ‘Mary Sue’. Actually, I think the writer Zoe Kazan said it best - “It’s a way of describing female characters that’s reductive and diminutive, and I think basically misogynist….I think that to lump together all individual, original quirky women under that rubric is to erase all difference.” I mean…Maria a Manic Pixie Dream Girl? Come on!
Besides - lemme take a page out of this article’s book. Say there’s this girl. She’s poor and hard-done-by but she remains optimistic. She’s a talented artist, as well. She has some weird quirks, like drawing prostitutes and sleeping under the stars. Also, she’s blonde and attractive and smiles a lot. When she embarks on a forbidden love affair, she tries to get the other person to loosen up and have fun and break the rules a little. God, what a manic pixie dream girl and unrealistic character! I just described Jack from Titanic.