By the time the events of New Girl begin, Cece Parekh and Jessica Day have been best friends for nearly 20 years. They might not initially live in the same loft, but Cece becomes a huge part of the series. She’s there to be a sounding board and support system for Jess enters a relationship with Schmidt, and becomes a genuine friend to Winston, Coach, and Nick.
Because the roommates of 4D find themselves in some outlandish situations and spout some hilarious lines, Cece is usually the “straight man” in the comedy. She gets the chance to have a few funny lines of her own, but she also drops some great wisdom on Jess (and the audience).
10 “You Could Have An Emotional Connection To A Shoe On The Side Of The Road.”
One of the reasons Jess and Cece get along so well is that their differences balance one another. While Jess is incredibly emotional and instantly attaches herself to people and things, Cece is more likely to hang back and see how something plays out before willingly attaching herself to anyone or anything.
As Cece points out in the first Valentine’s Day episode of the series, Jess has the tendency to attach herself to people and things she shouldn’t. It’s a great part of the introduction to Cece’s character in the first season because even though she’s discouraging Jess from trying to have a one-night stand, she also agrees to accompany Jess and Schmidt to the bar to help. She can be dry and sarcastic with Jess while still being there for her.
9 “I Used To Think That If I Was Proposed To, I Would Know It Was Happening.”
In the second season of the series, Cece becomes worried about her future. She wants a family – specifically, she wants to be married and have children before it’s too late. As a result, she allows her mom to start setting her up on dates with people her family will approve.
Shivrang is the man she almost walks down the aisle with, and nearly makes one of the worst mistakes of her life since they’re both really in love with other people. Their journey to the wedding begins when Shivrang reveals that their parents approve and asks if she wants to, “do this thing,” leaving her pretty underwhelmed. The audience doesn’t blame her.
8 “Oh, No. I’m A Single Adult, And I Kissed Another Single Adult, What’s Gonna Happen?”
Jess and Cece don’t often fight. In fact, there’s an entire episode devoted to their passive-aggressive version of fighting. There are, however, a handful of times they have loud and angry arguments that bring up their issues. One of those is in the second season when Cece is trying to plan her future and Jess is obsessing about Nick kissing her.
Both women see their respective conflicts as important, but Cece blows up at Jess with this line, even referencing Jess and Nick’s situation as something out of junior high, when Jess suggests that Cece not rush into a wedding. Jess just wants to help, but Cece isn’t sure Jess is able, and it comes to a head at the bachelorette party Jess tries to throw.
7 “You Wanna Put Money On This?”
Who would have thought a personality like Prince would make a guest appearance on New Girl when it first premiered. In a post Superbowl time slot, Prince’s episode became the most-watched episode of the series. While it mostly features Jess working out her fear of telling Nick she loves him, with some help from Prince, Cece actually hangs out with the artist a little longer.
The episode closes with the gang realizing Cece didn’t return to the loft with them. Instead, she and Prince are playing a game of table tennis where he promises to go easy on her. Cece is actually really good at the game, prompting the quote. Hannah Simone’s delivery of the line and Prince’s crestfallen expression is perfect.
6 “Please Don’t Make Me Laugh At You.”
When Cece meets Schmidt, he’s smitten with her right away. Cece, not so much. She enjoys getting under his skin, but the first time she interacts with him, she tries to be civil.
Schmidt seemingly can’t help himself during their interaction, taking his shirt off on the couch while Coach and Nick reprimand him. For her part, Cece isn’t particularly phased, trying to prevent Schmidt from doing anything he’ll regret.
5 “He’s A Total Matthau. He Gets You.”
Cece starts to become a larger part of the storylines when she “crashes” at the loft in the fifth episode. Cece sees something in Nick right away that no one else seems to pick up on until the next season: he’s into Jess.
When Cece questions Jess about her perfect guy, it’s revealed to be Walter Matthau in Grumpy Old Men. While that’s funny to Cece, it also leads her to point out that Nick is “a total Matthau,” and it’s pretty clear how he feels. It causes a little bit of drama as Jess wrestles with the idea, but Cece just wants to help her friend find happiness.
4 “Watch Your Front Because We’ve Got Your Back.”
Cece isn’t often someone who gets to say the more ridiculous of lines, so it’s always fun when she does. This is one of those times.
Cece tries to offer up some comfort by saying that she and Schmidt have their friend’s back. It might be more comforting without the reminder to “watch your front,” which definitely makes the audience chuckle and tends to be one of Cece’s most remembered lines.
3 “Picking Lint Off A Man’s Sleeve Is The Most Intimate Gesture.”
Cece has a lot of thoughts about relationships – especially when it comes to Jess. She alternates between wanting Jess to simply be true to her instincts and doling out advice. In the sixth season, as she knows that Jess still has feelings for Nick, Cece becomes one of the only people Jess can talk to about her situation.
One of the things that Cece points out to Jess is how much she still gets treated like she’s in a relationship with Nick, despite him dating Reagan. Cece questions whether Jess would pick lint from Nick’s sleeve or simply tell him he had something off his shirt, using that as her measure of intimacy between two people.
2 “We’re Going To Play True American Because I Want To. I’m Using My Bride Card.”
Cece gets a lot of flack for being selfish at different points in the series, and this line, spoken the night before Cece’s wedding to Schmidt, might seem selfish at first glance, but it’s actually said for Jess.
Jess is one of the few people that Cece really would do anything for. Even though they’ve just talked about everyone needing to get plenty of sleep and be prepared for the wedding, Cece suddenly decides to play True American, the drinking game that usually goes all night, surprising their friends. It’s all for Jess, who wants to avoid talking to Sam because she thinks he’s going to propose to her. Jess is afraid to think about just why she isn’t ready to commit to him, and she wants to avoid the talk as long as possible. Cece might not agree with Jess, but she’s there to support her, no matter what.
1 “When You’re Going Through A Taylor-Swift-Like Range Of Emotions, I Should Come Over, Right?”
Taylor Swift’s music gets referenced quite a bit in the series. Her music gets some of the characters through some tough times. She even gets a cameo (though not as herself) in the second season.
Cece makes this comment to Schmidt after showing up at the loft because she received a text from him. Even though she’s confused about the text, and deadpans this line, Cece still shows up for her friend every time. She proves herself one of the best friends in the show on a regular basis.
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