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"Looks like a picture of a best friend that an 8 year old would make."
—Schmidt describing Jess[src]

Jessica Christopher "Jess" Day is the main character on FOX comedy New Girl. She is portrayed by Zooey Deschanel.


She is a bubbly young woman trying to find herself again after a shocking breakup with her boyfriend, whom she caught cheating. She has been a teacher since 2006 and she loves to play the handbells. Jess enjoys crafting but doesn't have much time for it anymore. She also writes Nancy Drew fanfiction. She needed a new place to live due to breaking up with her boyfriend, so she moved in with three men named Nick, Schmidt, and Coach. Her best friend is a model named Cece. Following Coach's departure, she now lives with Winston instead. When the show begins, Jess is a school teacher in her late 20s. In the pilot, she has an unexpected breakup with her boyfriend who was cheating on her. She moves out of the apartment that they shared, and ends up living in a bachelor pad with Nick, Schmidt, and Winston. Jess brings an over the top girly vibe to the former bachelor pad.

In the second season episode premiere, Jess is laid off from her school position. After trying some casual jobs she started working in adult education. She had some relationships along the way, but they did not last long. Her best friend since childhood is Cece, who is always ready to protect Jess.

Jess's friendship with Nick Miller, one of her flatmates, is evolving gradually. They both have admitted that they've felt attracted to each other but have expressed no particular interest. However, they often protect each other. One such example is when Nick suspected one of Jess's students to be a psycho-killer and decided to investigate the situation. Another example from Jess's side is when Nick announced his moving in with his ex-girlfriend, soon after they got back together, and Jess hid the keys of the truck carrying his things so that he could have a last chance to reconsider his choice. Also, we have seen Nick complaining that Jess is using him as a 'fluffer'when she asks him to do things that a boyfriend would do.

Jess's parents have had a divorce but she always wanted them to reunite. To that goal, she makes up romantic situations for them, which actually do not work much.


Season 1

Jess and Cece entering her new apartment

After coming home early from visiting her mother, Jess discovered that her long-term boyfriend Spencer was cheating on her with a woman named Rochelle. She left all of her things at his house and moved in with her best friend Cece. She got tired of the model lifestyle and went to craigslist to find new roommates. She was accepted into the apartment of Nick, Schmidt, and Coach, only after they discovered that she had model friends. She showed major signs of depression while watching Dirty Dancing so the guys took her out for a rebound date. She met a man who stood her up named Peter. When the guys found out, they rushed to her side at a public restaurant and sang to her.

After getting a new roommate, the guys grew tired of Jess not having anything to wear. Jess even had to wear clothes from Schmidt's old girlfriend pile. On destroying their TV with a basketball, the guys and Cece help her get her stuff back from Spencer's house.

Nick later convinced Jess to be his date for a wedding, at which his old girlfriend Caroline would be attending. Jess tried on several dresses before Nick and Schmidt decided on the "slutty" one. She made Caroline jealous, pleasing Nick. However, Nick almost hooked back up with Caroline but luckily, Jess was able to stop them. A depressed Nick then became very drunk and ruined a holiday video for the happy couple. She, along with the rest of the group, did her version of the chicken dance.

Nick was dancing to Jamaican music and began stripping until finally, he was naked. Then Jess walked in on him, giggled and then ran out. This embarrassed Nick to the point that he couldn't have sex on his date with Amanda. Jess talked to Cece about it and was told to let Nick see her naked. She ran into his room in nothing but a robe. Little did she know that Nick was coming home with someone. Nick and Amanda began to make out. Jess tried to sneak out but was caught by Amanda. Her robe fell off and Nick saw her in the nude, making the experience even.

Jess and Nick showing some affection for each other

Cece became intoxicated at a club after breaking up with her boyfriend. She called Jess to come and get her. Jess took Cece back to the apartment, where Cece began to dance with the guys. Jess made a bed for her on the couch but Schmidt convinced Cece to sleep in his bed after sheep-dogging her towards his room. The next morning, Cece convinced Jess that Nick liked her. She then spent the entire day trying to figure out the awkward situation, for instance when they went to the drugstore and she kept checking if his feet were pointed at her because Cece told her that a guy's feet always point towards what they want.

After discovering that her fellow teacher Paul would not be celebrating Thanksgiving, due to his grandmother dying, she invited him over to celebrate Thanksgiving with the guys. She and Schmidt prepared a classy Thanksgiving meal, which was interrupted due to a fire. The gang then celebrated in a neighbors apartment, only to find the resident dead. The gang then went to black Friday at Best Buy, where Jess and Paul skipped away into the street.

Jess later had to teach a group of misfits how to play the handbells, only to be outshined by Winston, Who had never played them before. She convinced Winston to help her teach them to play. He agreed and they went to a contest.

Season 2

At the end of season 2, Nick and Jess begin to date.

Season 3

Mars Landing Nick and Jess break up.

Season 4

cameo'd in a episode in Brooklyn Nine-nine season 4


Cece Parekh

Cece is Jess's best friend. They met when they were young. Jess shared all her secrets with Cece, but Cece hasn't shared all her secrets with Jess, such as sleeping with Schmidt, owning a motorcycle, and going to the movies with Jessica P. They're always there for each other. Cece gives Jess advice on romance and her life in general.

Nick Miller

Main article: Nick and Jess

Another of Jess' roommates, along with Schmidt and Winston. They met in the Pilot episode. Jess thinks Nick makes a turtle face and usually never smiles. Many fans like the idea of Nick and Jess together. They seem to have some romantic interest in each other. Nick got protective of Jess when their landlord came over to fix things in the apartment, thinking he wanted to sleep with her. In the season finale, Jess tells Nick that she wants him to be happy and that she'll be okay because she met him. Their relationship is often displayed as complicated. In the episode Fluffer, Winston accuses Nick of being Jess' emotional fluffer, or her "boyfriend without the rewards." The two later agree that they are friends who are sometimes attracted to each other and that they don't want to be told what they can and can't do together by other people.

In the episode Cooler, the guys try to pick up girls, and because Jess is Nick's Cooler she stays at home. After a couple of hours, she hears creepy sounds. So, she texts Cece, who's on a date with a guy who actually DOES want to have kids, Sam, her hot boyfriend, and Nick. Nick ignores it at first because there's a girl who's turned on by his misery, but when Jess tells him she needs him, he comes immediately.

Arriving home, it seems to be nothing and Nick actually smiles when he sees that Jess missed him and made a Nick-doll with a melon-face. While playing True American, Jess and Nick accidentally get locked up and will only be released when they kiss as part of the game.

Sam, Cece, and her date arrive, and they cheer them on. Nick doesn't seem to have the nerves to kiss her, and Jess just wants to get it over with. Eventually, Nick refuses to kiss her because he doesn't want their first kiss to be a part of a drinking game and says "not like this" in response implying that he has in fact thought about how he'd like to kiss Jess for the first time. As Jess catches on to what he just said, he climbs out of the window and almost falls, but when he's back in the living room, Sam thinks that Nick would rather jump out of a window than kiss Jess.

Later that night, Jess hears the noise again and calls Nick out of bed. Nick is wearing a trenchcoat and they find a dog; the owner sees her coat and leaves angrily. When Jess goes back to her room, Nick suddenly grabs Jess' arm and kisses her; Jess kisses him back. After they kiss, Nick says, "I meant something like that," and goes back to his room while Jess stands in shock. This moment is now known as "The Kiss" to fans.

Nick and Jess' first kiss in "Cooler"

In 2x19, Jess admits to CeCe her being sexually attracted to Nick. Jess, after injuring her jaw, takes some medicine, which makes her "silly", and tells Nick she wants to have sex with him. Nick doesn't know how to react but decides to break up with his current girlfriend for Jess' shake. Later that night, Jess gets jealous and mad at Nick for dating another girl, but won't admit, until he directly asks her whether or not she wanted to have sex with him earlier that day. Jess says she did, so they start kissing.

Things get weirder after that, with them not knowing whether they want to remain friends or be a couple. Nick, trying to figure things out, asks Jess on a date, only to make things much worse between them. However, they confess the sexual tension to each other. 

In Virgins, Nick got jealous when Jess talks about Teddy. Soon Jess went to the elevator and Nick carried her out to his bedroom to have sex.

The next morning, Nick makes breakfast for Jess but is interrupted when Jess' dad Bob arrives unexpectedly.  As a result, the two needed to postpone talking about their relationship and that they should keep the previous night a secret.  

When Jess is offered a new teaching job, Nick, however, purposefully tells Bob that he likes his daughter; which Bob does not take well.  

When Jess comes back and invites her dad to come with her, Bob responds, "You want to get rid of me so you two can do it again?"  A shocked Jess yells at Nick for telling her dad that they had sex.  Bob does not approve of their relationship when he says that Nick " not your father, you're me.  And I'm not good enough for my little girl." (a topic of an earlier conversation between Nick and Bob.)  A distraught Nick storms off for his room as Jess tries to stop him.  

Later that night, Jess receives a text from Nick that says "Roof."  She sneaks past her dad, who is sleeping in between their bedrooms on an air mattress, and heads to the roof.  

On the roof, Nick has once again prepared the breakfast he made for her with two glasses of orange juice and flowers.  A surprised Jess walks up to Nick, hoping that her dad didn't get in his head.  As Nick answers that he didn't, Schmidt, Elizabeth, and Winston arrive on the roof to look at the stars and celebrate Winston's birthday, once again needing to postpone the talk of their relationship.  

The following morning, on Cece's wedding day, Jess and Nick go to the wedding together.  Nick is determined to make Jess happy, so when Schmidt and Winston decide to sabotage Cece's wedding Nick makes numerous attempts to stop them.  

During the ceremony, Winston interrupts the wedding when he plays "Cotton Eyed Joe" on the DJ player.  Nick attempts to turn the song off when Jess suddenly walks in and assumes Nick is a part of the sabotage.  Nick assures her he has nothing to do with the sabotage, but Jess doesn't believe that considering that "this is the type of thing that you (Nick) do.  A stupid, childish prank."  Hurt by these words, Nick decides to join Schmidt and Winston's scheme to get back at Jess.  

In the middle of Winston's prank, a badger escapes into the air ducts with Winston and Nick still inside.  Schmidt, aware of the prank, tells Jess that Nick was never involved in the earlier pranks.  Feeling guilty, Jess climbs into the air duct to look for Nick.  

While in the air duct, Nick and Jess attempt to discuss what a bad idea their relationship could be. Jess admits that there is a small part of her that thinks their relationship is a mistake. Before Jess could say something reassuring to Nick, the two and the badger fall down an air vent into the ceremony.  

As the guests leave, Nick decides that they should "call it" saying "they had one night, it's not like we're in love or anything."  Jess reluctantly agrees and storms off, on the verge of tears.     Nick goes to the bar to drink his sorrows away because "that's his move."  Winston informs him that that's his routine, "When things get crazy, you just run away."  Winston informs NIck that there is another way.  Knowing what Winston meant, Nick leaves the bar and goes after Jess.  

Outside, Jess stands by her car hiding her pain.  She tells Nick that she doesn't want to give up on them, even if they don't know what their relationship is and wants to "uncall it."  

Nick walks towards Jess and kisses her.  He asks for her car keys and they ride off together as a new couple.  


Schmidt and Jess live in the same loft together as roommates. They are good friends and help each other out when needed. In "Thanksgiving," Schmidt helped Jess cook the turkey, first attempting to put it in the oven. In "The Story of the 50," it's Schmidt's 29th birthday, and his party was going to be canceled until Jess helped out and got a party bus for him. In the end, Schmidt tries to kiss Jess, but she backs away. He uses an excuse telling her there was fluff on her face. Later in "Valentine's Day" Jess was planning on having a one night stand with Schmidt but was interrupted by Nick.

Winston Bishop

Jess and Winston live in the loft with Nick and Schmidt. They met in the 2nd episode, Kryptonite, when he came back to live with Nick and Schmidt, not knowing she would be there. He was surprised to see her when she made him breakfast and woke him up singing "I'm Jeeeeeeesssss!." They became good friends. He told her he hadn't told the guys, but he loved bubbles in Wedding.


Jess and Coach were only roommates in the first episode, Pilot. He tried to help her from her heartbreak by telling her "Stop it! Stop it!" but it didn't work. Although they were only in one episode together, they seemed to become friends.


Spencer is Jess' ex-boyfriend. They were together for six years until Jess found out that Spencer was cheating on her when she came home from work early to surprise him, naked. She immediately moved out and into Cece's apartment, before moving in with the guys. We don't know a lot about Spencer, except that he loves bikes and hates light.


Jess and Caroline aren't very happy with each other. Nick asked Jess to be his fake girlfriend so he didn't have to be alone with her at a wedding.[2] Jess pretends to be more snobby towards her, becoming very protective of Nick after Winston and Schmidt have a go at her for leaving him alone with Caroline. This possessive behavior is shown again when Nick calls Caroline over because he is lonely; Jess reacts quite negatively to it.[3]


(to Spencer; singsong) I'm doing sexy things with the pillow
Pink wine makes me... slutty
(to Spencer) Suck it, Mr. Krabs
(to Spencer) We're gonna have a Jam-sess

Oh my God, bubblesI

like to say words with my mouth
(to Nick) ... And later I'm gonna bust you hard...
(to Nick) ...You are a beautiful white man, Nick Miller..
(to Nick) To Beat the Coyote, You Have to be The Coyote


  • Jess appears to be a fan of family films such as An American Tail, and musicals such as Dirty Dancing.
  • Jess has a tendency to sing what she wants to say, instead of just saying it. She is shown to do this more often if people try to get her to stop.
  • Jess has a signature giggle which she does whenever she sees something hilarious.
  • Jess has a Master's degree. ("Parents")
  • Jess plays the guitar. ("Bully")
  • In the episode Naked, Jess has trouble saying the word "penis". However, in the "Pilot" episode, she says it just fine. This could be due to the fact that she was somewhat drunk. 
  • Jess is often described as quirky.
  • Jess is 1/8th Romanian.
  • Jess owns the 1992 Disney musical Newsies, which she offered to share with the guys in Season 1 Episode 2, but is turned down.
  • Jess has helped three couples get proposed to. First was Paul and Jen, the second is her father and Ashley Berkman, the third was Aly Nelson and Winston Bishop.
  • Jess had a romantic relationship with Robby before they realized they were third-cousins and ended the relationship.


Jess Day has a Photo Gallery.

Jess' Rental Application

Jess app.jpg


  1. Oregon
  2. "Wedding". Donick Cary (writer) & Jason Winter (director). New Girl. Fox. October 4, 2011. No. 3, First season
  3. "Tomatoes". David Walpert, Kim Rosenstock (writer) & Michael Spiller (director). New Girl. Fox. April 24, 2012. No. 22, First season