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Gidget is a fictional character created by author Frederick Kohner (1905-86), based on his teenage daughter Kathy (now Kathy Kohner-Zuckerman) in his 1957 novel, Gidget, the Little Girl with Big Ideas. The novel follows the adventures of a teenage girl and her surfing friends on the beach at Malibu. The name Gidget is a portmanteau word of "girl and midget".[1] Following the novel's publication, the character appeared in several films, television series and telemovies.

The Novels[edit]

Frederick Kohner wrote eight "Gidget" novels, six of them original novels, two of them novelizations based on motion pictures with the same titles.

Gidget, the Little Girl with Big Ideas (1957)[edit]

  • "I'm writing this down because I once heard that when you're getting older you're liable to forget things and I'd sure be the most miserable woman in this world if I ever forgot what happened this summer."[1]

    • chapter one, first sentence (p.3 in current edition)
  • "All things considered--maybe I was just a woman in love with a surfboard."[1]

    • chapter fifteen, second last sentence (p.154 in current edition)

Cher Papa (1959)[edit]

  • "He gave this a moment of thought.

    "Then he said, 'In love--I don't think I am. But I do like Franzie. I liked her from the day I saw her for the first time, out at Malibu on the board. She's got spunk and spirit. She's got warmth and enthusiasm. And--' he smiled diffidently, 'I like her particularly because I know that she likes me.'

    "I admit I was quite fascinated by this bit of self analysis.

    "'I am always ready to like a girl who likes me,' the Kahoona went on. 'You see, I am basically a shy person. It's always been hard for me to believe that a woman really liked me. So if it happens--well--I really want to hold onto it.' "[2]

    • chapter five
    • N.B. Cher Papa is unique among the novels in that it is narrated by Gidget's father rather than Gidget (Franzie) herself; the above quote is excerpted from a conversation between Gidget's father and the Kahoona. It is included because it speaks to the nature of Gidget as a human being, and the nature of her close friendship with the Kahoona.

Gidget goes Hawaiian (1961 novelization)[edit]

  • "My friend the great Kahoona once told me that the sea is where we came in, and the sea is where we go out. We have crawled out of the sea and one day we're going to crawl back into it. That solution of salt is in our blood."[3]

    • chapter seven

The Affairs of Gidget (1963)[edit]

  • "All the short years of my life I have been fascinated by the word 'affair.'

    "It sounds so decadent.

    And when I say short years, I say so advisedly. They have been painfully short, fifty-nine inches to be precise and that's stretching it."[4]

    • chapter one, first few sentences
  • "If you want to believe the Arabs, there are three things you can't hide: love, smoke and a man riding on the back of a camel.

    "I have news for the Arabs.

    "They have left out one other thing, and that thing is a toothache."[4]

    • chapter twelve, first few sentences

Gidget Goes to Rome (1963 novelization)[edit]

  • "Amore, I said to myself, if it is good--it is very good. And if it is bad--well--it isn't that bad."[5]

    • chapter six, last sentence

Gidget in Love (1965)[edit]

  • "The bluebird of happiness had come home to roost. If this isn't heaven, I thought, lingering in his sweet embrace, I ask you, what is?"[6]

    • chapter fifteen, last two sentences

Gidget goes Parisienne (1966)[edit]

  • "Everything was about to begin.

    "I felt ridiculously young.

    "I had groups and groups of time left.

    "Zut alors, so free and light as I, was no one in this world."[7]

    • chapter twenty-two, last several sentences

Gidget Goes New York (1968)[edit]

  • "Life, I think, is wonderful, but people are hell."[8]

    • chapter one, first sentence


Gidget (1959)[edit]

  • "Surfing is out of this world. You can't imagine the thrill of the shooting the curl. Well, it positively surpasses every living emotion I've ever had."[9]

Gidget Goes Hawaiian (1961)[edit]

  • "Something happens to parents when they have children; they forget that their kids are human show me one kid that'll go out of his way to become involved with his parents!"
  • "But that's not the way it's supposed to go; I can't even be a good fallen women."

Gidget Goes to Rome (1963)[edit]

  • "I want my epitaph to read: Here lies the only American Girl who ever came to Rome without tossing a coin in the fountain."


Gidget (1965-66)[edit]

  • episode 1. Dear Diary...Et.Al. teleplay by Ruth Brooks Flippen
    • "You see before you me, Gidget. For fifteen and a half years, my life was complete and total ick. But then on the twenty-third of June, two things happened: I fell in love...with two things: Jeff, my Moondoggie and surfing."[10]
    • Funny thing about life: a few hours ago I hit the lowest point in my whole absolute existence, and now I'm riding so high I can't even see cloud nine when I look down. John would say that shows a lack of maturity, and I can't argue with him. When you're young it's not easy to level off and fly right. It's too bad you can't be born with maturity, and then lose it later on when you're old enough not to need it any more."[10]
  • episode 2. In God, and Nobody Else, We Trust teleplay by Ruth Brooks Flippen
    • "I'll tell him tomorrow the main reason why he and Anne and John will be topic A with the gang: 'cause my friends are not exactly stupid. They know that Dad and Anne and John were all doing what they did to help or protect, whichever, and they were all doing it out of love. And if there's one thing my friends and I dig, even when it comes from relatives, it's love."[10]
  • episode 3. The Great Kahuna teleplay by Albert Mannheimer, Story by Frederick Kohner
    • "Oh, hi Anne, hi John, what's new in Kooksburg?...Oh sorry. What's the latest on the psychological front?"[10]
    • "Holy Minestrone!"[10] (upon seeing the Kahuna in a suit)
  • episode 4. Daddy Come Home teleplay by Ruth Brooks Flippen
    • "Well, I mean, if you work around food, shouldn't you look like you eat it once in a while?"[10] (Gidget feels the woman her father is dating is too slender.)
    • "I was so mad, so furious, I did a perfectly ridiculous thing for any normal, healthy teenager to do at a quarter of nine in the evening: I went to bed...and then I did something even crazier: I went to sleep!"[10]
  • episode 5. Gidget Gadget teleplay by Stephen Kandel
    • "Oh, that blip John--he should be horse whipped...and with a mean horse!"[10]
    • "I think maybe the hardest thing for a teenager to learn is patience, but I'm working on it, and I may make it...if my family survives long enough."[10]
  • episode 6. A Hearse, A Hearse, My Kingdom for a Hearse teleplay by Louella MacFarlane
    • "A girl can handle any job a boy can, and I can prove it."[10]
    • "What price independence? I've been fighting in the right war, but wearing the wrong uniform."[10]
  • episode 7. Gidget is a proper noun teleplay by Austin and Irma Kalish
    • "Through this door passes the most miserable girl in the world: me, Gidget, and all because of having to take a miserable foreign language: English!"[10]
    • "Laugh and the world laughs with you; cry and your mascara runs."[10]
    • "It's true you know: you're only young once...but if you work it right, once is enough."[10]
  • episode 8. Image Scrimage teleplay by Barbara Avedon
    • "You can't kick a gift horse in the teeth...especially if that horse is your father."[10]
  • episode 9. Is It Love or Symbiosis teleplay by A.J. Mady, story by A.J. Mady and Frederick Kohner
    • "Have you ever tried to have feminine dignity while you were chewing bubble gum?"[10]
    • "Who Listens to John anyway? If he had any class he'd turn himself in."[10]
  • episode 10. All the Best Diseases Are Taken teleplay by Tony Wilson
    • "At first look it might seem difficult, but when you think about it, nothing is impossible when those around you truly believe."[10]
    • "I never knew it was so much work setting up a spontaneous demonstration."[10]
  • episode 11. My Ever Faithful Friend teleplay by Ruth Brooks Flippen
    • "Anyone can learn the secret of personal magnetism; it can be summed up in two words: be natural."[10]
    • "These days all our problems are solved by science. Science tells us how to live longer, how to travel in space and how to be beautiful."[10]
  • episode 12. Chivalry Isn't Dead teleplay by John McGreevey, story by Martin Ragaway
    • "Well I still say if we're not treated the way we want to be, it's our own fault."[10]
    • "As Mrs. Revere said to Paul, 'How about a midnight snack?'"[10]
  • episode 13. The War Between Men Women and Gidget teleplay by Leo and Pauline Townsend
    • "Cheese, tounge, peanut butter, spaghetti, pumpernickel on the bottom, angel food on the top. It's my heartbreak special--want a bite?"[10]
    • "The big moral is: it's a lot easier to start a war than to end one. Anyway I decided that in the war between men and women I'd stick to personal combat. I figured that from now on I'd meet the enemy face to face. That way you get all the fun and none of the fallout."[10]
  • episode 14. Gidget's Foreign Policy teleplay by Stephen Kandel
    • "In America everybody's equal, but frankly, just to survive a girl's got to be equal to at least three boys."[10]
    • "Welcome to America-- some dope probably said that to the Japanese beetle."[10]
  • episode 15. Now There's a Face teleplay by Dorothy Cooper Foote
    • "One thing about the ocean: all that salt water around and nobody notices a few tears."[10]
    • "You have to let adults do things for you every now and then; it makes them feel better."[10]
  • episode 16. Too Many Cooks teleplay by Albert Mannheimer
    • "When you're here, life's a bowl of cream." (to Jeff)[10]
    • "I'm fate's football."[10]
  • episode 17. I Love You, I Love You, I Love You, I Think teleplay by Ruth Brooks Flippen
    • "How am I going to learn algebra from a teacher I've seen in a bathing suit?"[10]
  • episode 18. Like Voodoo teleplay by Albert Mannheimer
    • "Superstition is the wreckage of small minds."[10]
    • "If we get one more psycologist in this family, I'm taking the next rocket to Mars!"[10]
  • episode 19. Gidget's Career teleplay by Joanna Lee
    • "Larue had been avoiding me like poison for the last three days. Now that's no way to treat a best friend...even one who stabs you in the back."[10]
  • episode 20. Ego-A-Go-Go teleplay by Barbara Avedon
    • "George Bernard Shaw once said that youth was wasted on the young. Well as far as I'm concerned, my share is up for grabs."[10]
  • episode 21. In and Out with the In-Laws teleplay by Ruth Brooks Flippen
    • "You know how stubborn Easterners are...some of them are still trying to surf the Atlantic."[10]
  • episode 22. We Got Each Other teleplay by John Mc Greevey
    • "Sometimes I think I run very fast just to get back where I started, but that sounds like zen or something mystic, and I'm still much too immature for something like that.[10]
  • episode 23. Operation Shaggy Dog teleplay by Dorothy Cooper Foote
    • "How can you buy out a man's life? How can you pay him fairly and squarely for a lifetime of hard work?"[10]
  • episode 24. Ring-a-Ding-Dingbat teleplay by Barbara Avedon
    • "Oh here we go, folks: Sigmund Fraud and his electric couch!"[10]
    • "I hate to be a bragging daughter, but I must have raised him right. I mean how many other parents dig the difference between rebelling and revolting?"[10]
  • episode 25. Love and the Single Gidget teleplay by John Mc Greevey and Stephen Kandel, story by Lee Karson
    • "News like this spreads like poison ivy."[10]
  • episode 26. Take a Lesson teleplay by Ruth Brooks Flippen
  • episode 27. Independence, Gidget Style teleplay by Joanna Lee
    • "You have to know how to handle parents; it's a real art."[10]
  • episode 28. One More For the Road teleplay by Irma and Austin Kalish
    • "When it comes to flowers, I'm all thumbs...and they're all green!"[10]
    • "It's not easy to learn how to drive when you don't know anything about it; it's like looking a word up in the dictionary when you don't know how to spell it."[10]
  • episode 29. Ask Helpful Hanna teleplay byIrma Kaish, story by Janet Carson
    • "I think I just put my foot in something...and I've got a feeling it's my mouth."[10]
    • "Meet the new poster girl for National Crumb week."[10]
  • episode 30. A Hard Night's Night teleplay by Barbara Avedon
    • "If your best friend is not William Shakespeare, and he asks you to read something he's written, go hide in your closet until he goes away. And make sure he takes his manuscript with him, because whoever said 'honesty is the best policy' had a couple of other policies for flood and earthquake and broken friendships."[10]
  • episode 31.I Have This Friend Who... teleplay by John Mc Greevey, stoy by Gary Flaum
    • "In English Composition, my teacher's always nagging us not to use clichés, and I suppose she's right as rain."[10]
    • "A crowd's a crowd, no matter how many people are in it."[10]
  • episode 32. Don't Defrost the Alligator teleplay by Ruth Brooks Flippen

The New Gidget (1986-1988)[edit]

  • "When you're right, you're right, and when you're wrong, you're wrong. But sometimes you can be right when you're wrong. If you're confused, hit the beach!"


Gidget Grows Up (1969)[edit]

Gidget Gets Married (1972)[edit]

Gidget's Summer Reunion (1985)[edit]

  • "I'm always in over my head, even in heels."
  • "Why am I smiling? Well, at twenty-seven it's fun to be told I can't see certain movies unless accompanied by an adult."


  1. a b c Gidget(2001) by Frederick Kohner, Berkley Publishing Group, New York, NY (first edition 1957)
  2. Cher Papa(1959) by Frederick Kohner, E. G. Putnam's Sons, New York, NY.
  3. Gidget Goes Hawaiian(1961) by Frederick Kohner, Bantam Books, New York, NY
  4. a b The Affairs of Gidget by Frederick Kohner (1963) Bantam Books, New York, NY
  5. Gidget Goes To Rome(1963) by Frederick Kohner, Bantam Books, New York, NY
  6. Gidget in Love(1965) by Frederick Kohner, Dell Books, New York, NY
  7. Gidget Goes Parisienne(1966) by Frederick Kohner, Dell Books, New York, NY
  8. Gidget Goes New York(1968) by Frederick Kohner, Dell Books, New York, NY
  9. The Complete Gidget Collection [DVD set]. New York: Sony Pictures.
  10. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax Gidget: The Complete Series (2006). [DVD set]. New York: Sony Pictures.

External links[edit]

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