The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Charlie goes on his first date with Mary Elizabeth, a friend of Sam and Patrick’s. She is intelligent, rebellious, and opinionated, and it is with her that Charlie explores his sexuality for the first time. Mary Elizabeth takes pride in being interested in the trappings of counter-culture (like punk rock music and edgy hairstyles), but also enjoys the comforts provided by her wealthy parents. Although Mary Elizabeth thinks of herself as Charlie’s girlfriend, he doesn’t find himself very attracted to her or even like her all the much, but their relationship drags on because he is afraid to tell her that he doesn’t want to date her. This comes to a head when, in a game of truth or dare, Charlie is dared to kiss the prettiest girl in the room, and he kisses Sam instead of Mary Elizabeth—a social misstep that puts him at odds with his entire friend group. Charlie’s brief but overwhelming relationship with Mary Elizabeth teaches him how lousy relationships can be when one doesn’t fully participate in them. Though their relationship ended badly, he and Mary Elizabeth remain friends at the end of the novel.

Mary Elizabeth Quotes in The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The The Perks of Being a Wallflower quotes below are all either spoken by Mary Elizabeth or refer to Mary Elizabeth. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Trauma, Abuse, and Mental Health Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Gallery Books edition of The Perks of Being a Wallflower published in 1999.
Part 3 Quotes

I don't know what it was, and I know we didn't really accomplish

anything, but it felt great to sit there and talk about our place in things. It was like when Bill told me to “participate.” I went to the homecoming dance like I told you before, but this was much more fun. It was especially fun to think that people all over the world were having similar conversations in their equivalent of the Big Boy.

Related Characters: Charlie (speaker), Sam, Patrick, Mary Elizabeth
Related Symbols: Books
Page Number: 105-106
Explanation and Analysis:
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I could say that it was the wine or the beer that I chugged. I could also say that I had forgotten the time Mary Elizabeth asked me if I thought she was pretty. But I would be lying. The truth is that when Patrick dared me, I knew that if I kissed Mary Elizabeth, I would be lying to everyone. Including Sam. Including Patrick. Including Mary Elizabeth. And I just couldn't do it anymore. Even if it was part of a game.

Related Characters: Charlie (speaker), Sam, Patrick, Mary Elizabeth
Page Number: 135
Explanation and Analysis:
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Mary Elizabeth Character Timeline in The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The timeline below shows where the character Mary Elizabeth appears in The Perks of Being a Wallflower. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2 
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
Healing and Self-discovery through Literature and Writing Theme Icon
Adolescence and Transformation Theme Icon
...called Punk Rocky (inspired by the film The Rocky Horror Picture Show) that his friend Mary Elizabeth runs. Charlie’s friends perform in the regular screenings of the film, and the audience participates... (full context)
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
Healing and Self-discovery through Literature and Writing Theme Icon
...is his Secret Santa. For his first gift, Charlie just receives socks, and he thinks Mary Elizabeth must be his Secret Santa. He later receives a tie, white shirt, shoes, and a... (full context)
Part 3
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
Masculinity and Violence Theme Icon
Adolescence and Transformation Theme Icon
After a Rocky Horror Picture Show performance, Mary Elizabeth asks Charlie to the Sadie Hawkins dance. Craig didn’t show up to play Rocky, so... (full context)
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
Adolescence and Transformation Theme Icon
Sam gives Charlie some advice for dating Mary Elizabeth , but afterwards Charlie just thinks about how he wishes he could stop being in... (full context)
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
Masculinity and Violence Theme Icon
Adolescence and Transformation Theme Icon
After Charlie’s parents find out he’s dating Mary Elizabeth , Charlie’s dad has a conversation with him about safe sex and consent. Afterwards Charlie... (full context)
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
Although Charlie is feeling annoyed in his relationship with Mary Elizabeth , Sam thinks they’re great as a couple. He spends more time listing to Mary... (full context)
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
Masculinity and Violence Theme Icon
Healing and Self-discovery through Literature and Writing Theme Icon
Charlie starts feeling more resentful of Mary Elizabeth , even returning a gift she gave him before immediately feeling bad and going back... (full context)
Trauma, Abuse, and Mental Health Theme Icon
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
Adolescence and Transformation Theme Icon
...apartment to play truth or dare, and Charlie chooses dare to avoid having to tell Mary Elizabeth the truth. Patrick dares Charlie to “kiss the prettiest girl in the room on the... (full context)
Trauma, Abuse, and Mental Health Theme Icon
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
Healing and Self-discovery through Literature and Writing Theme Icon
Adolescence and Transformation Theme Icon
...it “was helpful to know that someone else has been through it.” Later, he calls Mary Elizabeth to apologize, but she tells him that it’s “too late.” Patrick advises Charlie to stay... (full context)
Part 4
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
Adolescence and Transformation Theme Icon
...night, Charlie goes to Rocky Horror Picture Show to reunite with his friends. He and Mary Elizabeth become friends again, and she tells him that she’s now dating an older guy who... (full context)
Trauma, Abuse, and Mental Health Theme Icon
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
Healing and Self-discovery through Literature and Writing Theme Icon
Adolescence and Transformation Theme Icon
...Washington, Sam is going to Penn State, Charlie’s sister is going to Sarah Lawrence, and Mary Elizabeth is going to Berkeley. Seeing his friends excited about their colleges makes Charlie think of... (full context)
Trauma, Abuse, and Mental Health Theme Icon
Relationships and Intimacy Theme Icon
...would miss him. Charlie tells her that she’s his best friend. After she drives away, Mary Elizabeth invites Charlie to Big Boy with her and their friends, but Charlie feels bad and... (full context)