‘New Girl’: Both Jess and Nick Are Based on This 1 Real-Life Person

New Girl is no longer on the air, but when it was, it was heralded as one of the funniest sitcoms of the 2010s. Fans of the show loved the unique characters and hilarious storylines the likes of which they couldn’t find anywhere else on TV.

Imagine the show Friends if every character was about 50 percent weirder, and you’ve got the recipe for the sitcom New Girl. What made it work so well were two of the main characters: Nick and Jess. So who were the couple based on? Let’s take a closer look at the one person who actually served as the real-life inspiration for both. 

What is the premise of the sitcom ‘New Girl?’

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According to IMDb, New Girl ran from 2011-2018. The series starred Zooey Deschanel as the main character. The show centered around an offbeat, quirky young woman experiencing a bad breakup.

After picking up the pieces and moving on, she decides to move in with three equally quirky men. The clash of personalities makes for plenty of hilarity. It focused on the various hijinks the group got into around the apartment, using their living space as the main set for the majority of the show. 

Elizabeth Meriwether, the writer of the romantic comedy film No Strings Attached, was the show’s creator. The talented ensemble cast included Deschanel, Max Greenfield, Jake Johnson, Lamorne Morris, Damon Wayans, Jr., and Hannah Simone. Megan Fox also had a 15 episode run replacing Deschanel for a brief spell. 

Who are Nick and Jess on ‘New Girl?’

Deschanel played Jess Day, the show’s main character. Johnson portrayed Nick Miller, an on-again, off-again love interest, friend, and roommate of Jess. While the entire cast made the show work, the depiction of this relationship is definitely what drove the show.

According to Meriwether’s comments captured in New York Magazine, an early screening of the show highlighted that the show resonated with people. Women saw themselves in Jess, and men saw a sister or friend-figure they couldn’t help but gravitate toward: 

“It was a Friday night, and we had this group of just like sad, tired people from the Valley who came in and laughed the whole way through. That was an amazing feeling, when you’re like, ‘Okay, I’m getting through to a random assortment of people that you found on the street. It’s cool also that guys, at least so far, are finding it just as funny as women. They saw her as a little sister and just wanted to take care of her.”

Nick and Jess were quite a pair, but what is it that made them seem to click so much from a comedic perspective? The answer lies in the person both characters were largely based on. 

Both Nick and Jess are based on one real-life person

Damon Wayans, Jr., Jake Johnson, Zooey Deschanel, Max Greenfield, Hannah Simone, and Lamorne Morris appear in promotional photos for 'New Girl'
The cast of ‘New Girl’ | FOX Image Collection via Getty Images

The basis for the character of Jess is the series creator: Meriwether. But did you know that she also serves as the inspiration for Nick as well? It makes sense, as both have a unique personality with some similarities.

According to Mental Floss, many of Nick’s characteristics on the show (particularly the funnier ones) are based on Meriwether in real life. Meriwether often pulled her hoodie over her head, much like Nick. She would also sing to herself when she found herself in an awkward or uncomfortable spot – the same as Jess. 

Using Meriwether’s personality to build the characters of Nick and Jess is what made them such an irresistible pair on the show. The two are distinct in their own respects, but they also share a lot in common. That made pairing them together in a relationship an easy decision, and one that viewers quickly fell in love with.