Mary Sue

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From the name of an intentionally over-the-top character in the 1973 Star Trek parody fan fiction A Trekkie's Tale by Paula Smith.


Mary Sue (plural Mary Sues)

  1. (fandom slang, usually derogatory) A fictional character, usually female, whose implausible talents and likeability weaken the story.
    • 2010 August 3, Ta-Nehisi Coates, “A Whole New World”, in The Atlantic[1]:
      Bella may be a Mary Sue, but if we don't identify with her, and even if we do, there's no other interpretive place for us in the universe.
    • 2015 January 20, Sian Cain, “Why a non-white Nancy Drew could be amazing”, in The Guardian[2]:
      She was a mashup of ideals that made her feel very fake; a Mary Sue who was popular, pretty, athletic, artistic, all the while loved by everyone who met her.
    • 2015 December 19, Tasha Robinson, “With Star Wars' Rey, we've reached Peak Strong Female Character”, in The Verge[3]:
      So here's a radical suggestion: instead of being concerned about whether her Mary Sue flawlessness is a problem, why not, just this once, enjoy it for what it is?

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