Liz Lemon

Liz Lemon

Infobox character

caption= A promotional photograph of Tina Fey as Liz Lemon
name = "Liz Lemon"
first = "Pilot"
gender = Female
age = 37cite episode |title=Cougars |series=30 Rock |serieslink=30 Rock |network=NBC |airdate=2007-11-29 |season=2 |number=7 |minutes= ]
born = Late in the year, around the early 1970s (see age section)
occupation = Head writer for "TGS with Tracy Jordan"
family = Dick Lemon (father)
Margaret Lemon (mother)
Mitch Lemon (brother)
"Nana" Lemon (grandmother)
Dolly Harlan (great-aunt)
Gray "The Hair" (third cousin)
residence = 160 Riverside Drive, Apt. 3B in Manhattan
religion = Unspecified ("I pretty much do whatever Oprah tells me to.")
portrayer = Tina Fey
Michal Antonov (as a preteen in "The Head and the Hair" and "Seinfeld Vision")
Marcella Roy (as a preschooler in "Rosemary's Baby")
creator = Tina Fey

Elizabeth "Liz" Lemon is the fictional protagonist of the American situation comedy "30 Rock". She is portrayed by Tina Fey, who is also the creator of the series and its show runner. [ [ Tina Fey - Yahoo! TV ] ]

Like Fey, who was head writer of "Saturday Night Live" ("SNL") from 1999 to 2006, the character is head writer for a fictional "SNL"-esque show. For this reason, Liz Lemon is widely seen by critics as a fictionalized version of Fey herself, which Fey herself has confirmed as being her intention. In a video interview conducted with Fey prior to the airing of the pilot, she stated that Liz is herself "five or six years ago when I first started at my job and had to figure out how to deal with big, strong personalities and get through the day, being sort-of scared of everyone... but acting like you're not scared of everyone." [ [ 30 Rock TV Show, Series - Exclusive Video Clips & Episodes – NBC Official Site ] ]

Fey has reported incorporating some of her own quirks and history into the character, saying that she tries to "share as many of Liz's habits as possible so it feels truthful." Liz has been seen singing "Maybe"cite episode |title=Jack Meets Dennis |series=30 Rock |serieslink=30 Rock |network=NBC |airdate=2006-11-30 |season=1 |number=6] and Fey has noted that she also enjoys singing songs from "Annie". Both were once rejected by a man who later went to clown college and both were once referred to with the "c" word, which had a huge emotional impact on them. [ [ Weekly, "One Fine Fey"] ]

The character also shares her given name with Fey, whose full name is Elizabeth Stamatina Fey. However, Liz Lemon is only very rarely referred to as "Elizabeth" and the character's name is usually given as "Liz Lemon" in official contexts (example, the plaque on the door to her office). The character's last name, "Lemon", is apparently intended to imply an acerbic personality and possibly also to make her full name alliterative. Fey has stated that she wanted Liz to have a good last name since she knew the character would often be called by it. [ [ YouTube - Broadcast Yourself ] ]

Personal history

Liz is from a town called "White Haven". Her optimistic family are introduced in .cite episode |title=Episode 209 (A.K.A Ludachristmas)|series=30 Rock |serieslink=30 Rock |network=NBC |airdate=2007-12-13 |season=2 |number=9] Liz's parents, Dick and Margaret Lemon, are very supportive of her, at least outwardly. Her brother Mitch had a skiing accidentcite episode |title=The Rural Juror |series=30 Rock |serieslink=30 Rock |network=NBC |airdate=2007-01-11 |season=1 |number=10 ] on Sunday, December 8, 1985 when he was a high school senior. Afterwards, he remained "stuck" in the day before the accident, thinking for the next twenty-two years that he was still seventeen and that it was still 1985.

Liz was inspired to become a writer by Rosemary Howard, the first female head writer of "Laugh-In"cite episode |title=Rosemary's Baby |series=30 Rock |serieslink=30 Rock |network=NBC |airdate=2007-10-25 |season=2 |number=4] . She mentioned that she used to teach improv to senior citizens.cite episode |title=Jack the Writer |series=30 Rock |serieslink=30 Rock |network=NBC |airdate=2006-11-01 |season=1 |number=4] In college, she studied theater techcite episode |title=Black Tie |series=30 Rock |serieslink=30 Rock |network=NBC |airdate=2007-02-01 |season=1 |number=12] for which she still has an outstanding student loan.cite episode |title=Episode 210 |series=30 Rock |serieslink=30 Rock |network=NBC |airdate=2008-01-10 |season=2 |number=10]

Liz and Jenna Maroney shared an apartment in a Chicago neighborhood called "Little Armenia" and together dreamed of making it big. They began "The Girlie Show" on Second City. Liz and Jenna worked for years to turn "The Girlie Show" into a television series, the pair of them moving from Chicago to New York City for it. Liz became the head writer for "The Girlie Show" while Jenna became the show's main star.

In the pilot, it is announced that Liz's former boss Gary has died and Jack Donaghy takes his place.cite episode |title=Pilot |episodelink=Pilot (30 Rock) |series=30 Rock |serieslink=30 Rock |network=NBC |airdate=2006-10-11 |season=1 |number=1 ] Jack immediately decides to retool the show to make it appeal to a larger demographic, starting by firing Liz's trusted producer Pete Hornberger and making her hire unpredictable actor Tracy Jordan as the show's new star. Liz manages to convince Jack to re-hire Pete, but Jack is insistent on making the show center around Tracy and, much to her chagrin, he renames the show "TGS with Tracy Jordan".cite episode |title=The Aftermath |series=30 Rock |serieslink=30 Rock |network=NBC |airdate=2006-10-18 |season=1 |number=2]

Liz currently lives in an apartment at 160 Riverside Drive, which is a real apartment complex in New York City, her apartment number is 3B.cite episode |title=The Breakup |series=30 Rock |serieslink=30 Rock |network=NBC |airdate=2006-12-14 |season=1 |number=8]

According to episode 207, "Cougars", she is 37 years old.


Jack's overview

Jack, at a mere glance, described her, apparently accurately, as a "New York third-wave feminist, college-educated, single-and-pretending-to-be-happy-about-it, overscheduled, undersexed, you buy any magazine that says 'healthy body image' on the cover and every two years you take up knitting for...a week." Pete said the "knitting" part, in particular, was uncanny.

Physical appearance and typical attire

In contrast with her friend and foil Jenna Maroney, Liz seems to have little interest in stereotypical female interests such as fashion. Her "bi-curious" shoes led Jack to erroneously think she was gay and set her up on a blind date with his friend Gretchen Thomas, the "brilliant plastics engineer/lesbian".cite episode |title=Blind Date |series=30 Rock |serieslink=30 Rock |network=NBC |airdate=2006-10-25 |season=1 |number=3] Jack does not find Liz attractive, as he repeatedly makes clear through backhanded compliments.

Except when she is pressured to dress more femininely, Liz typically appears in casual, gender-neutral attire. In earlier episodes, she almost always appeared wearing plastic-rimmed glasses, though she has started to wear the glasses less and less over the course of the show. Flashbacks reveal that she has worn glasses since she was about four or five. However, according to Jenna she does not actually need glasses. This is probably intended to parody the fact that plastic-rimmed glasses are considered to be Tina Fey's trademark in real life, despite the fact that she does not actually need glasses except to see far away. [ [ "Tina Fey, Specs Symbol"] from the "Washington Post"]

Quirks and personality traits

Liz is generally portrayed as something of a geek, so, although apparently a skilled writer, she seems to have precious few social skills. For example, while she was trying to meet a date at a karaoke bar, a man asked her if the seat next to her was taken and she asked him why she should move her coat just so he could sit there. Jack has described her as "socially retarded". Liz has tried using to find a boyfriend.cite episode |title=Hard Ball |series=30 Rock |serieslink=30 Rock |network=NBC |airdate=2007-02-22 |season=1 |number=15]

Liz has a rather sardonic sense of humor. She has frequently been shown to be a stress eater, a trait she shares with Jack, and, although she is often seen eating junk food, she seems to keep her weight under control, perhaps because she doesn't seem to have proper meals. According to Fey, the character is not bulimic; "she just likes to eat." [ Live Blog, "Shared Habits", from NBC's "30 Rock" website] ] Liz does have some knowledge of cooking.cite episode |title=The "C" Word |series=30 Rock |serieslink=30 Rock |network=NBC |airdate=2007-02-15 |season=1 |number=14] She is allergic to dogs and, apparently, cats as well as "anything warm and adorable." She has evidently won at least one Emmy Award. Liz has been seen signing her name on a check with her left handcite episode |title=The Fighting Irish |series=30 Rock |serieslink=30 Rock |network=NBC|airdate=2007-03-08 |season=1 |number=17] , adding items to her pros-and-cons list of Dennis with her left hand, and Jack has referred to her "left-handedness"cite episode |title=Corporate Crush |series=30 Rock |serieslink=30 Rock |network=NBC |airdate=2007-04-12 |season=1 |number=19] . Tina Fey is left-handed. []

She speaks fluent German and studied in Germany (presumably West Germany as this would have been during the 1980s) during her teens.

Liz has a strong aversion to unfairness and breaking rules as demonstrated in the opening scene of the pilot, where, when a man cheats to get a hot dog from a hot dog stand more quickly by "creating" a new line which several people from the "original" line promptly join, she responds by buying all the hot dogs and giving them to the "good people" who stayed in the original line. Later, when Liz considered quitting over Jack's changes to the show, Pete told her that she had the best job in New York and that she shouldn't "buy all the hot dogs." This also displays the tendency she seems to have of acting rashly in a fit of anger.

She also seems to have a weakness when it comes to maternal instincts. The day after Liz told Jenna that she wanted to have children, she found herself bombarded with offers from people who wanted to be sperm donors or surrogates for her.cite episode |title=The Baby Show |series=30 Rock |serieslink=30 Rock |network=NBC |airdate=2007-01-04 |season=1 |number=9] Liz was also asked by a makeup artist to hold her baby daughter while she was doing touch ups on Jenna, but, after leaving Jenna's dressing room, Liz blacked out and found herself standing in her apartment, still holding the baby in her arms, thanks to the baby's hypnotic effect on her. Liz compares the effect to highway hypnosis.

While Liz is generally calm in nature, she can get pretty violent when someone steals her food (i.e, knocking over a table when someone stole her macaroni and cheese).cite episode |title=Sandwich Day" |series=30 Rock |serieslink=30 Rock |network=NBC |airdate=2008-05-01 |season=2|number=35]


Like Fey, Liz is a big fan of "Star Wars", often using events from the original trilogy to explain her feelings and actions in daily life. For example, In the episode "Jack the Writer", she compares Jack Donaghy to Darth Vader and that stepping into his office is like entering the Death Star. Liz mentions that she recently dressed up as Princess Leia for four Halloweens in a row. Liz considers "" to be the worst film of the series.

She is also a fan of "Heroes", in which her favourite character is Hiro Nakamura, "Lost", "Little People, Big World", "Ugly Betty"cite episode |title=Up All Night |series=30 Rock |serieslink=30 Rock |network=NBC |airdate=2007-02-08 |season=1 |number=13] , "Top Chef", "Designing Women" and "The Daily Show". Her drink of choice is Pinot Grigio. As of "Cleveland", her ringtone is "Ride of the Valkyries", which she and Jenna consider a reference to "What's Opera, Doc?".cite episode |title=Cleveland |series=30 Rock |serieslink=30 Rock |network=NBC |airdate=2007-04-19 |season=1 |number=20]

Political and religious views

As demonstrated in several encounters with Jack, she seems to have left-wing politics and is most likely a Democrat. For instance, she stated that she believes "gay dudes should be allowed to adopt kids and we should all have hybrid cars". Liz, however, has not been shown to own a car, hybrid or otherwise. She is frequently portrayed endorsing Hillary Clinton. Despite her vocal support of Obama, she says that there is an "eighty percent chance" that she will end up secretly voting for John McCain in the 2008 election.cite episode |title=Fireworks |series=30 Rock |serieslink=30 Rock |network=NBC |airdate=2007-04-05 |season=1 |number=18 ]

She is shown to be somewhat afflicted with "white guilt," which Tracy uses to manipulate her the episode "Jack-Tor." She later says that her white guilt "is to be used only for good, like overtipping and supporting Barack Obama". She is very concerned about not being seen as racist for example, an African-American man she was dating played the "race card" when she tried to explain that they weren't a good match.cite episode |title=The Source Awards |series=30 Rock |serieslink=30 Rock |network=NBC |airdate=2007-03-01 |season=1 |number=16 ]

Liz seems to be anti-Catholic as illustrated in her "Dennis Cons" list. When asked what religion she was she replied that "I pretty much do whatever Oprah tells me to". Liz was probably raised Christian.


Jenna Maroney

Liz stated in the pilot that she and Jenna worked for years to get "The Girlie Show" and a series of flashbacks reveal that Liz and Jenna have known each other since at least 1996, having been roommates together in a Chicago neighborhood called "Little Armenia". Given Jenna's uptight nature, Liz is generally forced to act as her rock.cite episode |title=Secrets & Lies |series=30 Rock |serieslink=30 Rock |network=NBC |airdate=2007-12-06 |season=2 |number=8] This has caused Liz some annoyance, especially after Jack increased Jenna's stress level and paranoia by hiring Tracy Jordan and changing the show's name from "The Girlie Show" to "TGS With Tracy Jordan".

Liz has been seen complaining about Jenna's erratic tendencies behind her back, usually with Pete. Jenna once got mad at Liz when she overheard Liz describe her to Tracy as being "paranoid" and "neurotic". Jenna once slept with Liz's brother Mitch and said he was terrible in bed. Liz explains this by saying that Mitch hasn't been right since he was in some kind of skiing accident, because of which he thinks it's still 1985 and he's still a teenager.

Pete Hornberger

Liz and Pete have known each other since about 1996 and he's possibly the closest thing Liz has to a confidant, especially since Jenna, her closest female friend, is far too anxious about her own life to function as such. Liz seems to have more genuine respect for him than anyone else on the show. Pete lived in Liz's apartment for an extended period while separated from his wife.

Tracy Jordan

Liz has not really tried to pursue a relationship of any kind with Tracy, preferring to focus her energies on keeping his craziness in check.cite episode |title=Tracy Does Conan |series=30 Rock |serieslink=30 Rock |network=NBC |airdate=2006-12-07 |season=1 |number=7 |minutes= ] She is typically friendly towards him, though mainly to further this end. While Liz will refer to him as either "Tracy" or "Tray", Tracy will most often refer to by her full name "Liz Lemon", or, less often, just "Lemon".cite episode |title=Seinfeld Vision |series=30 Rock |serieslink=30 Rock |network=NBC |airdate=2007-10-04 |season=2 |number=1 ]

Jack Donaghy

At the beginning of the show, Liz understandably did not like Jack very much, and their relationship was an antagonistic one. As the series has progressed, however, this original dislike has all but disappeared, though they still obviously annoy each other at times.

Fans have shown an interest in "shipping" Jack and Liz together [] [ [ Jack x Liz ] ] . Tina Fey, however, has stated that there will not be a romantic relationship between the two, as it would be "too icky." [ [ 30 Rock: A possible hook-up ] ] Despite this, there have been two episodes which hint at the possibility. Jack passes Liz off as his girlfriend to make Bianca, his ex-wife, jealous and Bianca tells Liz in one scene that "I can tell from the way he looks at you that he's serious". Colleen Donaghy, Jack's mother, thinks that Liz is a perfect match for Jack.cite episode |title=Hiatus |series=30 Rock |serieslink=30 Rock |network=NBC |airdate=2007-04-26 |season=1 |number=21]

Liz has more recently declared that she and Jack "are friends"cite episode |title=MILF Island |series=30 Rock |serieslink=30 Rock |network=NBC |airdate=2008-04-11 |season=2 |number=11] and seems to be welcome in Jack's office at any time of the day. The two joke often about their various personal and work-related problems, and increasingly offer each other advice. Jack may have even supplanted Pete as Liz's most trusted confidant. This relationship culminated when Jack, after being told he was to be the next Chairman of General Electric, named Liz as his Vice President and successor.cite episode |title=Succession |series=30 Rock |serieslink=30 Rock |network=NBC |airdate=2008-04-24 |season=2 |number=13] In essence, Liz and Jack have developed into each other's best sounding boards. For example, when Liz believed herself to be pregnant, her first reaction was to go to Jack's office (now occupied by the CEO of G.E.'s daughter) and, when ultimately she was unable to speak with him face to face, she left multiple messages on his phone.

Love life

According to Pete, Liz has had some really terrible boyfriends in the ten years that he's known her. It is implied that she once dated Conan O'Brien when there is obvious romantic tension between them. Conan has told Liz that he wants to forget their brief relationship. Liz was dating Dennis Duffy, her on-again-off-again boyfriend, until she learned that he was an online sexual predator after seeing him on "Dateline NBC", where he was caught in one of their hidden camera investigations.

In one episode, Liz and Jenna consider hooking up with two men from the building who they've nicknamed "The Head" and "The Hair" (because one is boring and balding, and the other is interesting and handsome, with a full head of great hair).cite episode |title=The Head and the Hair |episodelink= |series=30 Rock |serieslink=30 Rock |credits= |network=NBC |station= |airdate=2007-01-18 |season=1 |number=11 |minutes= ] Liz and Jenna both assume, automatically, that the good-looking one (The Hair) will go for Jenna, so Liz, a little resignedly, decides to ask The Head out on a date. On the way there, however, she is stunned to be approached by "The Hair" (whose real name, it turns out, is Gray). After a rocky start, things start to look optimistic for their romantic potential - until Liz and Gray discover that they are actually third cousins.

Liz once received an anonymous Valentine that, in a true "Charlie Brown" twist, turned out to have been sent to her by accident by a man named Floyd who intended to send the gift to his girlfriend, Liz Lemler ("The Other Liz"). Later, Jack told her to fire the bottom ten percent of her staff and Liz realized that Liz Lemler actually worked for her. What followed was chaos as Liz ended up firing not only Liz Lemler but also the entire accounting staff and Pete. In the end, Jack rehired Liz Lemler but had her transferred to Connecticut. Although she did end up dating Floyd, they broke up when he moved to Cleveland and she decided to stay with her show in New York.

It is later shown that she is not over Floyd even though they have officially ended it. According to Liz, the last time they spoke was at 4:17 p.m. on August 9, 2007.

In "The Source Awards," Liz has a dinner date with Steven Black, Tracy's attorney (played by Wayne Brady). She quickly discovers that they have nothing in common and voices her doubts about furthering a relationship with him, but she backs down when he accuses her of being racist. Liz inadvertently gives herself an out, however; at the Source Awards she accidentally shoots Black in the buttocks.

At Kenneth's party, a drunk Liz apparently made out with Grizz. Kenneth later mentioned that apparently afterwards, she made Dot Com and Grizz cry.cite episode |title=Greenzo |series=30 Rock |serieslink=30 Rock |network=NBC |airdate=2007-11-08 |season=2 |number=5]

Liz dated a 20 year old named Jamie. His mother, Beth, was physically similar to Liz, causing Liz to end the relationship.

ee also


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