On the Mortal Instruments series

Why the Best Friend Never Gets the Girl

By Kami Garcia

I’m just going to come right out and say it because we’re friends, and I don’t want there to be any secrets between us (unless, of course, I’m your best friend and I’m madly in love with you). Brace yourself, here it comes: Simon never stood a chance with Clary.

Before you start sending hate mail, give me a chance to explain. I’m not suggesting that Simon isn’t handsome and brave and perfect for Clary in every way. Some mundanes might actually argue that he’s superior to Jace in all three categories, but that doesn’t change the fundamental law of attraction on which my claim is based. In literature and film, the best friend never gets the girl.

It has nothing to do with Simon’s potential as boyfriend material. He lost the battle before he even had a chance to fight, doomed to join support groups full of best friends who never got the girl. (The reverse is true if the person in question is a girl secretly in love with her best friend, but we’ll get to that later.)

In pursuing Clary, Simon ignored a decade’s worth of case studies conducted by a handful of gifted filmmakers in the 1980s, most notably John Hughes, the godfather of them all, who dedicated his career to exposing what I refer to as the Duckie effect.

For those of you unfamiliar with this master filmmaker and his legacy, the Duckie effect is this: A boy falls hopelessly in love with the girl of his dreams who  …

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