Few movies made audiences laugh as hard as 2011’s “Bridesmaids.” It’s become a much-loved classic, largely because of its hilarious and well-characterized cast of, well...bridesmaids. Each of the five women backing up Lillian (played by Maya Rudolph) at her wedding is a caricature of herself, fleshed out to the point where we feel like we know her, yet can laugh at her. And the interactions between these very different people lend themselves to amazing comedy.
We'll examine their personality types using the Enneagram here, highlighting and analyzing the cues we think are most important in identifying their types. The Enneagram types we’ve assigned to Annie, Helen, Megan, Becca, and Rita are our best guesses, given our observation of their motivations, decisions, behaviors, speech, body language, and more. We’ll explain which type we think they are and why, using examples when relevant.
“Bridesmaids” is 10 years old so it shouldn’t need a spoiler warning, but we’ll give one anyway: spoilers ahead. Frankly, we would have preferred if the bridesmaids made it to Vegas for that bachelorette party and the movie skipped the whole romantic subplot with Irish Cop Guy, but that’s another story.
Annie (Kristen Wiig): Seven with a Six wing (The Entertainer)
Our best guess for Annie is a Seven with a Six wing: the Entertainer is gregarious, animated, spontaneous, quick-thinking, uninhibited, restless, distractible, nervous, and manic. They are high-energy and optimistic, but can be highly avoidant and chaotic.
The average to low-health traits of the Entertainer show up in Annie throughout the film. The first time we saw Bridesmaids, we felt terrible for Annie: her best friend is abandoning her for a new, fancy upgrade in Helen; her bakery was shut down; she can’t catch a break in romance; and she’s broke. Although there are legitimate reasons to feel bad for her, much of our sympathy comes from the fact that she’s our (flawed) narrator. In reality, she’s displaying the traits of an average to low-health Seven: self-centered, manic, unreliable, and unstable.
She selfishly holds back the rest of the wedding with her own nostalgia for what her and Lillian’s friendship used to be, as well as with her poor finances. The other women made it clear that they want to go to Vegas for the bachelorette party, yet Annie keeps pushing the lake house they used to visit as kids (it’s both cheap and nostalgic). She insists that they eat at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant, which gives everyone food poisoning (and leads to an explosively funny scene...literally ).
Annie’s anxiety about flying ultimately leads to a freakout where an air marshal has to land the plane early, tanking their Vegas aspirations. Her fear of commitment leads her to favor boy toy Ted (played by Jon Hamm) and ignore good guy Rhodes (played by Chris O’Dowd), running out when he has the audacity to make her breakfast in bed after a drunken hookup. And let’s not forget about her tantrum at Helen’s Paris-themed bridal shower, culminating in her destroying a chocolate fountain . Yes, Helen is insufferable. But collectively, it’s childish behavior from Annie.
Annie has to hit rock bottom and relax her self-interested expectations for what her friendship with Lillian needs to be in order to mature. And once she starts thinking more about others as they are, not what they can do for her, she starts to have more fun and gains more security in her relationships.
Helen (Rose Byrne): Three with a Four wing (The Professional)
Our best guess for Helen is a Three with a Four wing: the Professional is success-oriented, efficient, suave, diplomatic, persistent, competitive, impersonal, dismissive, and arrogant. They are industrious and high-achieving, but can be pompous and deceitful.
Professionals radiate poise and success. And if you don’t get that impression just by looking at them, they’ll make sure you know through “subtle” hints and displays of status. From her top tier membership at an elite country club to her designer gowns to her expensive vacations in Thailand, Helen’s actions serve to signal to others, “I’m very important.” For example, when Lillian wants to stop into an exclusive designer dress shop that’s appointment-only, Helen relishes the opportunity to use her personal connections to get in immediately.
Professionals are also known for their competitive nature, which shows itself in the scene where Helen follows up Annie’s simple but cute maid of honor speech with an excessively grandiose one:
Helen: I went to Thailand recently with my husband, Perry, and there's a beautiful saying that I learned there. [Speaking Thai] It means, “You are a part of me, a part that I could never live without. And I hope and I pray that I never have to.” Khob-kun-Ka. [Bows to the crowd]
Sevens also have a competitive streak, so Annie rises to meet Helen’s challenge and the toast goes for far too long. The same happens in the tennis match , when Annie agrees to meet Helen at the country club for a “friendly” game. Pretty soon the two are lobbing balls directly at each other’s faces.
By the end of the movie, we learn that Helen is lonely and human, despite her “perfect” exterior. Her husband is never around because of work, and she truly wants Lillian’s friends to like her. It’s a great example of the Three’s focus on image blocking them from true connection–that is until they’re willing to be flawed:
Helen: [Crying] Why are you smiling?
Annie: It's just... it's the first time I've ever seen you look ugly... and that makes me kind of happy.
Megan (Melissa McCarthy): Five with a Six wing (The Problem-Solver)
Our best guess for Megan is a Five with a Six wing: the Problem Solver is investigative, knowledgeable, meticulous, logical, skeptical, collecting, socially awkward, argumentative, and paranoid. They are multi-skilled practical thinkers, but can be rejecting and belligerent.
Megan is the breakout star of “Bridesmaids,” stealing every scene she’s in and being responsible for most of the movie’s biggest laughs. Nearly everything she says is quotable ( “Feel that steam heat? That’s from my undercarriage.” ). She’s unabashedly herself, quirks and all, and it leads to a legendary performance.
The film makes a brief mention that Megan works for the NSA, and evidently is a high-achieving employee. She also has deep and specific knowledge around Federal Air Marshals, which she demonstrates when calling out the passenger next to her on the plane, John, for covertly being one (and she turns out to be right). These scenes with Megan align with Fives’ tendency to be technical, and Problem-Solvers having a particularly high attention to detail. But their expertise in complex subject matter tends to be paired with a clumsiness around social interaction.
Problem-Solvers tend to be identifiable through their eager yet awkward attempts to connect with others, as Megan does when she meets Annie at the country club and regales her with a way-too-long story about breaking multiple bones on a cruise ship and meeting a dolphin. They’re also notoriously poor dressers in many cases, as evidenced by Megan’s proclivity for newsboy caps, random wrist braces, and mens’ button-down t-shirts (fun fact: Melissa McCarthy said she based Megan’s character on celebrity chef Guy Fieri).
Fives worry that they won’t have enough resources, so they tend to hoard to be prepared. Megan even hoards puppies when given the chance to take one home at Helen’s over-the-top Parisian bridal shower:
Annie: [discussing puppies] How many of those did you take?
Megan: I took nine. I took nine. Yeah. I did slightly overcommit to the whole dog thing. It turns out I'm probably more comfortable with six.
Underneath her social foibles, though, Megan is probably the best, most stable person in the movie: she knows who she is and makes no apologies for it, she’s loyal to those she cares about, and she’s smart with marketable skills.
Becca (Ellie Kemper): One with a Two wing (The Advocate)
Our best guess for Becca is a One with a Two wing: the Advocate is warm, passionate, principled, improving, moralizing, self-controlled, inflexible, nitpicky, and judgmental. They are thoughtful and purposeful drivers of change, but can be bitter and self-righteous.
Becca is symbolic of repression in “Bridesmaids:” she’s newly married, barely sinned, loves Disney World, and doesn’t know what type of alcohol to order on a plane. Always polite, smiling, and self-controlled, she wants to help, yet makes immature suggestions (e.g., a Pixar-themed bridal shower for a woman who’s never shown an interest in Pixar). The judgmental side of the average-health One subtly comes through in the scene where Becca meets Annie , learns she’s single, then continually stumbles over her words: “This is my husband. You don’t have a husband.”
It isn’t until Becca hangs out with Rita, a Seven, that we see her start to come out of her shell. This is a dynamic we see often with the Enneagram: Ones and Sevens tend to be attracted to each other, both as friends and romantically, because they’re foils to each other. Sevens add chaos and fun to the One’s life, and Ones add order and self-discipline to the Seven’s life. Once Becca gets tanked on the plane with Rita, she starts admitting that she’s not as uptight as she seems, and gets annoyed at her husband who “can only have sex in bed, in the dark, under the covers, only after we’ve showered separately.”
Rita (Wendi McLendon-Covey): Seven with an Eight wing (The Aficionado)
Our best guess for Rita is a Seven with an Eight wing: the Aficionado is exuberant, active, versatile, tenacious, thrill-seeking, multitasking, excessive, rude, and reckless. They are Renaissance people who regale others with their knowledge, but can be dissipated and callous.
Whereas Becca is tightly-wound and restrained, Rita is battle-scarred and hardened from years of marriage and being a mom to three boys . She’s deadpanned and disillusioned, and makes it clear that she has one goal in being a part of Lillian’s wedding: to have fun. When Annie tries in vain to convince the other bridesmaids to save money by throwing Lillian’s bachelorette at a family lake house, Rita shoots down the idea without a second thought for tact: “I need a trip that I can fantasize forever so that I’m able to have sex with my husband. That’s why I’m thinking Vegas...I want balls in my face.” That’s a typical Seven: they say what they’re thinking without toning it down.
Many Sevens also take special delight in “corrupting” people who haven’t had much life experience, as Rita does with Becca on the plane by encouraging her to open up and take more risks (and ordering two double Seven and Sevens to ease the process).