History Literature / PenPals

4th Apr '13 6:32:43 PM Xtifr
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''Pen Pals'' was a short-running late '80s/early '90s girls' series by Sharon Denis Wyeth about four adolescent girls rooming together in an all-girls boarding school in rural New Hampshire. Desperate to find a way to meet some boys, they advertise in the school paper for boy penpals. The series details the girls' relationships with these boys, one another, other classmates, teacher and family members.

to:

''Pen Pals'' was a short-running late '80s/early '90s girls' series by Sharon Denis Dennis Wyeth about four adolescent girls rooming together in an all-girls boarding school in rural New Hampshire. Desperate to find a way to meet some boys, they advertise in the school paper for boy penpals. The series details the girls' relationships with these boys, one another, other classmates, teacher and family members.
27th Jan '13 6:25:05 PM gallium
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Short-running late '80s/early '90s girls' series by Sharon Denis Wyeth about four adolescent girls rooming together in an all-girls boarding school in rural New Hampshire. Desperate to find a way to meet some boys, they advertise in the school paper for boy penpals. The series details the girls' relationships with these boys, one another, other classmates, teacher and family members.

to:

Short-running ''Pen Pals'' was a short-running late '80s/early '90s girls' series by Sharon Denis Wyeth about four adolescent girls rooming together in an all-girls boarding school in rural New Hampshire. Desperate to find a way to meet some boys, they advertise in the school paper for boy penpals. The series details the girls' relationships with these boys, one another, other classmates, teacher and family members.
13th Dec '12 9:19:47 AM SeptimusHeap
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* HairOfGold: Palmer and Georgette
15th Jun '12 5:20:51 AM joannact
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Short-running late '80s/early '90s girls' series about four adolescent girls rooming together in an all-girls boarding school in rural New Hampshire. Desperate to find a way to meet some boys, they advertise in the school paper for boy penpals. The series details the girls' relationships with these boys, one another, other classmates, teacher and family members.

to:

Short-running late '80s/early '90s girls' series by Sharon Denis Wyeth about four adolescent girls rooming together in an all-girls boarding school in rural New Hampshire. Desperate to find a way to meet some boys, they advertise in the school paper for boy penpals. The series details the girls' relationships with these boys, one another, other classmates, teacher and family members.
6th Jun '12 9:02:01 AM joannact
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* DeathGlare: Kristy's "Look"
* DarkerAndEdgier: The ''California Diaries'' series. However, the use of this trope surprisingly didn't come off as cheesy or overdone. It allowed for more character development and exploration of realistic adolescent themes, like depression, drifting away from childhood friends, and (arguably) closeted homosexuality.
* DidNotDoTheResearch: Notably on diabetes, autism, Judaism, body modification, ballet, Australia, the UK... the list goes on.
** When Stacey moves back to NYC, it's questioned whether her father can't simply commute to NYC from Stoneybrook for work, the answer being no, as it's "Too far". Enter the Stevenson family, who move from the non-specific "Long Island", New York to Stoneybrook supposedly because it's 'easier' for her mother to commute to Manhattan for work from Stoneybrook, and it's established that she takes a train, which was previous established in earlier Stacey books as being a two hour trip each way.
* DifferentAsNightAndDay: Abby and her twin sister Anna. Anna is musical, bookish, and introspective; Abby is athletic, noisy, and enjoys babysitting. About the only things they have in common are that they both have scoliosis and poor eyesight.
** Kristy and Mary Anne are also described like this; they're not sisters, but have been best friends practically their entire lives.
** [[TeenGenius Janine]] and [[BookDumb Claudia]].
* DisappearedDad: Kristy's father, Patrick Thomas, abandoned his wife and four children and almost never calls or writes.
* DoNotCallMePaul: Stacey is not fond of being called Anastasia. Additionally, [[LastNameBasis King]], one of Logan's football teammates [[BerserkButton does NOT like it]] when people call him by his given name, Clarence.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: The whole plotline about Stacey's diabetes and the associated stigma leading to her moving away from New York lest she lose all her friends. In retrospect, the series' origins in the late eighties makes it likely the diabetes stood in for [[TheDiseaseThatShallNotBeNamed something else]].
* DrunkDriver: One of their classmates, Amelia, is killed by a drunk driver in ''Mary Anne and the Memory Garden''.
** Abby's father was killed by a drunk driver prior to her series debut. According to ''Abby's Book,'' his death is the reason their mom moves Abby and Anna to Stoneybrook in the first place -- to distance herself from the memories.
* EggSitting: One book focuses on this.
* EmbarrassingMiddleName: Dawn's middle name is Read. Figure that one out.
* EmbarrassingNickname: Boontsie (Stacey), Sunshine (Dawn), Shannie (Shannon)
* EnhanceButton: In one of the ''Super Mysteries'' specials.
* EveryoneLovesBlondes: There are two out of four white girls from out of state: Stacey, the sophisticated New Yorker, and Dawn, the breezy Californian. Lampshaded in one book where Kristy reminisces about how she first met Shannon (whom she intensely disliked at first) and snarks about the trope in relation to Shannon and her friends, who are all blonde.
* EverytownAmerica: Stoneybrook
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: {{Lampshaded}} by Jessi in ''Hello, Mallory,'' when she snarks that naming a babysitting club "The Baby-sitters Club" is incredibly obvious.
-->'''Jessi:''' I mean, it's like calling a restaurant The Restaurant.
* ExtrudedBookProduct: What eventually happened to the series.
* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: The BSC were allowed to succeed ''most'' of the time, but once the problems got big, like trying to keep an autistic savant from being sent OffToBoardingSchool or reform a racist family, the {{Aesop}} was always along the lines of You Can't Make A Difference When You're Thirteen Years Old. ''Little Sister'' was even worse about this, with Karen failing at nearly everything she tried to do because You ''Really'' Can't Make A Difference When You're Seven Years Old. The only time Karen actually succeeded was during a WholePlotReference to ''TheSecretGarden'', since you can't very well have your Mary Lennox surrogate not shake things up.
** To be fair, it ''is'' unlikely that they would have been able to reform the racist family - the children did seem like they wanted to play with the other kids, but given how controlling their parents were, there probably wasn't a good chance that they'd be able to.
* FanNickname: "K. Ron" (after L. Ron Hubbard) for Kristy and "[=BSCult=]" have become popular on some snark communities.
* TheFilmOfTheBook
* FiveFiveFive: All phone numbers in this series begin with 555 (or [=KL5=], to be more specific).
* FiveManBand: In early books, before the introduction of Mallory and Jessi.
** Literally, [[http://catandgirl.com/?p=1022 here]].
* FiveTokenBand
* {{Flanderization}}: All of the girls' quirks suffered this to some degree with the ghost writers, most notably Kristy's bossiness, Dawn's passion for environmental causes and Claudia's bad spelling.
* FoodPorn: Especially prominent in Dawn and Claudia books.
* FourGirlEnsemble: Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia and Stacey in the first four books.
* FrozenInTime: The girls spent literally dozens of birthdays, holidays and summers in eighth grade. At one point Claudia was demoted to seventh grade, but the others stayed in place. They finally finished middle school in the last book of the ''Friends Forever'' spinoff.
* FullNameBasis: [[WiseBeyondTheirYears Gabbie Perkins]] refers to everybody by their first and last names.
* FunetikAksent: Used for Jessi's ballet teacher, who is French.
** Also Logan's southern accent, the Hobarts' Australian accent, and any allergy speak.
** And in the Super Special where they go to camp, and one girl has a pronounced lisp.
* GenkiGirl: Abby, Karen
* GirlPosse: Grace and Bebe for Cokie Mason, Jannie and Leslie for Pamela Harding.
* TheGloriousWarOfSisterlyRivalry: Claudia and Janine; Marilyn and Carolyn Arnold; Dawn and Mary Anne exhibit signs of this in the early days of their stepsisterhood.
* GoshdangItToHeck: Liberal use of "darn" and "heck" in place of actual swearing.
* GranolaGirl: Dawn
* HairOfGold: Stacey and Dawn
* HaveAGayOldTime: In one of the 2010 reissues, "thongs" was changed to "flip-flops", for obvious reasons.
* HerCodeNameWasMarySue: Mallory writes a play that makes her look ideal. Her family? Not so much.
* IAmNotPretty: Mallory sees herself as this.
* InformedAbility: Claudia is supposed to be a great artist, but since the books don't have any illustrations, we're not given much evidence.
* InformedAttribute: Dawn is supposed to be the "individual" of the group, but she changes her appearance and behavior not once, but twice - just to get a guy.
* InformedJudaism: Abby
* JerkAss: Kristy's dad is portrayed this way in the ''Forever Friends'' book where he remarries, and even moreso in TheMovie. It's also hinted at in ''Claudia's Book'', where she notes that as a little girl she seriously disliked Mr. Thomas.
* JuniorHigh
* KidDetective: There was an entire spinoff ''Mystery'' series based on this trope.
* KidsAreCruel: The classmates of the baby-sitting charges (especially Charlotte's classmates), though this is existent in the BSC's classmates as well, especially in Mallory and Jessi's sixth grade class.
** Some of the charges have this too - though mostly they're of the prank-playing kind. One of Claudia's charges once played a prank where she didn't tell Claudia that the chain of a swing was broken, thinking it'd just break under Claudia's weight when she sat on it. Instead, it held, the kid forgot to warn her, and the chain finally broke mid-swing, leading to [[GoneHorriblyRight Claudia breaking her leg so severely, she had to stay in the hospital with the leg in traction.]] The rest of the book switched between Claudia recovering and the club joining forces with some of their other charges to get the kid to stop playing pranks.
* TheKlutz: Jackie Rodowsky, AKA "The Walking Disaster"
* LawOfDisproportionateResponse: The Club had Andrew, who was pretending to be a monster, terrify the life out of one charge because she didn't want to wear a smock and paint.
** Jessi accused one kid of being racist because the kid didn't want to play.
* LighterAndSofter: The ''Little Sister'' series. ''The Kids In Ms. Colman's Class'' was even lighter and softer than that.
* LittlestCancerPatient: In ''Jessi's Wish''. Other books had children with deafness, Down's Syndrome and autism. In one of the Super Specials, Stacey befriended a wheelchair-bound boy who was about to have surgery for a heart condition. May extend to Stacey herself, who was diabetic. In another book a babysitting charge has to adjust to blindness.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: Many, many minor and background characters who changed with every book.
* LongLostUncleAesop: Several times.
** In the [[VerySpecialEpisode Very Special Book]] that warned against drunk driving, a new character is introduced as one of the nicest, friendliest girls at SMS. [[SacrificialLamb She is killed almost immediately]] in a drunk-driving accident.
** In ''Jessi and the Awful Secret'', we meet a new character, a girl in Jessi's ballet class, who is then revealed to be anorexic.
** New, never-before-seen families ask for sitters in the books dealing with racism (''Keep Out, Claudia!'') and autism (''Kristy and the Secret of Susan'').
* LongRunningBookSeries: At ''least'' one book a month for more than ten years!
* LostWeddingRing: One book involves Stacey being accused of stealing a valuable ring. As it turns out, it was the cat's fault.
* MacGuffin: In some of the ''Mysteries'' books
* MassiveNumberedSiblings: The Pikes have eight children, including identical triplets. The Brewer-Thomases and the Barrett-[=DeWitts=] are also examples of this trope, although they are blended families.
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: Appears pretty much whenever the girls deal with something weird. They usually get a mundane explanation that covers most--but not all--of what's been going on. Particular examples would include ''The Ghost at Dawn's House'' and ''Mary Anne's Bad Luck Mystery.''
** Also, the first book in the Little Sister series, where the only undebunked evidence Karen has at the end is that she saw the lady she thinks is a witch flying on a broom... and that might have been a dream.
* MeaningfulName: This is most likely completely unintentional, but [[ButtMonkey "Mallory"]] is Norman French for "unlucky".
* MeatVersusVeggies: The Schafer-Spier family deals with this a lot.
* {{Melodrama}}: There's no other word to describe the scene in ''Boy-Crazy Stacey'' where the girls are saying goodbye. They're all going their (temporary) separate ways and the waterworks are endless. Sobbing, hugging, wailing. How long will they be apart? ''Two weeks.''
* MiddleChildSyndrome: Tiffany Kilbourne
* MissingMom: Mary Anne's mother died of cancer when she was very little. She left a letter to Mary Anne that she was to have received on her sixteenth birthday.
* MistakenAge
* MoodWhiplash: ''Claudia and the Terrible Truth'', where the VerySpecialEpisode-esque main plot (the girls finding out that two of their new charges are being abused by their father) is interspersed with the sitters helping kids preparing for a St. Patrick's Day parade.
* MostWritersAreAdults
* MultigenerationalHousehold: The Thomas-Brewers and the Kishis before Mimi's death.
* MustHaveLotsOfFreeTime: Charlie, Kristy's seventeen-year-old brother, who apparently has all the time in the world to drive Kristy, Shannon, Abby, etc. wherever they need to go.
* NaiveEverygirl: Mary Anne and, to some extent, Mallory.
* TheNamesake: The title club is sometimes the only thing its members have in common.
* NamesTheSame: Two characters are named Sabrina Bouvier - a child beauty queen that BSC meets in ''Little Miss Stoneybrook ... and Dawn'', and later a classmate at SMS.
** {{Lampshaded}} in ''Here Come the Bridesmaids!'' where the narrator acknowledges that both the [=BSC=] and the W♥KC have a regular sitting charge named Ryan [=DeWitt=], and no, they're not related.
* NewYearsResolution
* NonHumanSidekick: Several, although Mary Anne's cat Tigger is probably the most frequently showcased -- partly because Mary Anne, unlike the others, is an only child.
* NoPeriodsPeriod: It's plausible for a thirteen-year-old girl not to have started her period yet, which makes a reasonable justification for the trope, but it's decidedly less plausible that ''none'' of them would have started menstruating by that age.
** Presumably it's not mentioned because the target age range for the books was a bit younger than thirteen, and they didn't want to freak out the kids (or their parents). One has to wonder, though, how it was deemed allowable to mention bras and bra shopping.
** Kids would know what a bra is ("It's like a double-barrel slingshot!"), but it would be unlikely that their parents would have had the talk with them. Or maybe they do have periods, [[TooMuchInformation but it's just not mentioned.]]
* NotAllowedToGrowUp: The first few books show the passage of time as the original five complete seventh grade and start eighth, but once they're in eighth grade, they stay there until the last book of the series finally lets them graduate.
* OldNewBorrowedAndBlue: When Kristy's mom gets married, her underwear is her "something blue." TooMuchInformation.
* OffToBoardingSchool: [[spoiler:Mallory]], although this was actually HER decision.
* OfficialCouple: Mary Anne and Logan. Kristy and Bart are an official sort-of-couple, and Stacey's part of a few.
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: Kristy, Stacey (short for Anastasia), Jessi, Abby, and many minor characters.
* OnlySaneMan: Jessi and Mallory in some of the later books.
* PlayingPictionary: It is suggested that one say something along the lines of "What a nice picture! Can you tell me about it?" when confronted with a child's drawing, because "you don't want to say 'what a lovely elephant!' and have it turn out to be a picture of their grandmother."
* PoisonousFriend: Ashley, who encouraged Claudia to leave the club and spend more time on her artwork. Also the "bad girls" group that Stacey falls in with later in the series.
* ProtagonistCenteredMorality: In book #12, the girls get bitchy over Claudia spending time with a new friend and go as far as to short-sheet her bed, mess with her belongings, and leave her a series of nasty notes. But in the end, ''Claudia'' is the one who owes ''them'' an apology for "being a bad friend."
** The girls also viciously shun Mary Anne in another story after she commits the mortal sin of... getting a stylish new haircut. Everything's back to hunky dory by the end of the book.
* PungeonMaster: Abby
* RealMenHateSugar: In one of the books when Nicky Pike and Buddy Barrett refuse to eat cookies after having been teased for attending a "girly" sewing class.
* RetCon: Early on, Jill, a member of the We ♥ Kids Club, is established as serious and thoughtful; at one point, Dawn describes her as being like Mary Anne. In the first ''California Diaries'' book she is portrayed as very childish, which contributes to Dawn, Maggie and Sunny drifting away from her.
** The Brewer children's mother and stepfather are named as Sheila and Kendall in an early book, later retconned to Lisa and Seth when they feature more prominently in later titles.
** Similarly, Mary Anne's late mother was named Abigail in the fourth book, but later books identify her as Alma. This is also fixed in reprints.
** There was a short spinoff series where each of the girls writes an autobiography. They must have been written by different writers, because Kristy, Mary Anne, and Claudia have conflicting memories of their elementary school years (when they all knew each other).
* RhymesOnADime: Vanessa Pike
* RougeAnglesOfSatin: Claudia frequently writes like this.
* TheRival: Cokie. Also, one book featured the girls facing off against a rival babysitting club.
* SameSexTriplets: The Pike triplets
* SandInMyEyes: Kristy pulls this one in TheMovie, claiming to her mother that "I've got ''allergies''!"
* SchoolPlay: One of the specials was about the club members and babysitting charges appearing in a musical.
* SecretSanta
* ShrinkingViolet: Mary Anne; Kristy's little stepbrother Andrew is presented this way too.
** Charlotte Johanssen, DependingOnTheWriter
* SiblingYinYang: Claudia and Janine, Abby and Anna, Karen and Andrew
* SixthRanger: Dawn, Mallory, Jessi, Abby.
* SnoopingLittleKid
* {{Spinoff}}: The ''Little Sister'' and ''California Diaries'' series. ''The Kids In Ms. Colman's Class'' is a spinoff of ''LS.''
* SpoiledBrat: Jenny Prezzioso; to many fans, Karen Brewer also qualifies.
* StartMyOwn: When the [=BSC=] goes crazy testing Mallory about whether she's a good enough sitter, she and Jessi start up "Kids Incorporated."
* StrawFan: Believe it or not, one of the books deals with Mallory claiming to be the biggest fan of a fictional children's author, meeting the author and giving her a hard time about not 'writing what she knows.' Fortunately, [[ItGotBetter she learns her lesson in the end.]]
* SweetTooth: Claudia
* SwitchingPOV: And the "I" in this book refers to...
* TechnicianVersusPerformer: Kristy and Abby, with sports. In Kristy's own words, she's a sportsperson, while Abby is a natural athlete.
* TechnologyMarchesOn: A big deal is always made of Claudia having her own phone line for them to use as the Babysitter's Club number. Nowadays they'd probably all have cell phones.
* TeenGenius: Claudia's sister Janine
** Janine suffers from most TVGenius symptoms, including SesquipedalianLoquaciousness, IntelligenceEqualsIsolation, NerdGlasses, and OmnidisciplinaryScientist, and she [[ImprobablyHighIQ has an IQ of 196]].
*** Surprisingly, though, with such a high IQ all they have her do is take a few courses at the local community college.
* ThemeTwinNaming: Marilyn and Carolyn Arnold, Abigail and Anna Stevenson, Mariah and Miranda Shillaber, Terri and Tammy Barkan, Ricky and Rose Salem. Averted with the Pike triplets Adam, Byron, and Jordan.
* TokenMinority: Jessi.
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Kristy and Mary Anne, Abby and Anna, Carolyn and Marilyn Arnold
* TrueCompanions: No matter what happens, the girls are there for each other.
* {{Tuckerization}}
* TwinSwitch: Marilyn and Carolyn did this once while Mallory was babysitting.
* TwoFirstNames: Kristy Thomas; Logan, Hunter and Kerry Bruno; Marilyn and Carolyn Arnold
* VerySpecialEpisode: Several books showcased a particular social issue, including racism, hazing, eating disorders and single parenting. They did not deal with topics like illicit drugs and sexuality, and only briefly touched on alcohol, which might have been considered inappropriate for the target audience.
* ViewersAreGoldfish: The main characters got repeatedly introduced and described in every book. {{Lampshaded}} by the various snark communities as being the standard contents of chapter two.
* WhereTheresAWillTheresAStickyNote: Mimi in ''Claudia and the Sad Goodbye''.
* WeddingDay: Kristy's mother and stepfather, Mary Anne's father and Dawn's mother, Dawn's father and stepmother, two sitting clients, Kristy's father and stepmother...
* WhenYouComingHomeDad:
** Stacey's dad is a workaholic who rarely spends time with her.
** Abby's mother is like this too. Possibly justified to an extent, since she's a single parent with two teenagers to support.
** Shannon Kilbourne's father is never home, either.
** One book had a subplot in which the sitters begin taking care of two kids who are constantly forced to attend extra-curricular classes and sports activities because their parents are always at work.
* WritersCannotDoMath: The number of bedrooms in Watson's house never seems to add up. Kristy says his house has 9 bedrooms, which should mean one each for Watson and Elizabeth, Kristy, Sam, Charlie, David Michael, Karen, Andrew, Emily Michelle and Nannie. However, in another book Kristy says that each of her brothers could have a whole suite of rooms if they wanted, and occasionally they've had entire families stay over with no discussion of people moving or sharing rooms. However, possibly the "9 bedrooms" refers only to the bedrooms on the first and second floors. It's mentioned that there is a third floor and an attic that are never used ([[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial which is most certainly not because the ghost of Ben Brewer haunts them]]), so her brothers ''could'' have suites, but would have to move to the upper floors.
* WrittenSoundEffect: Ghostwriter Peter Lerangis LOVES omnomatopoeia.
* YouMeddlingKids: The basic plot of the ''Mysteries'' specials
* YoureNotMyFather: Kristy drops this one on Watson in TheMovie, after a visit with her notoriously flaky biological father.
* YourTomcatIsPregnant: Shows up in one book when Jessi pet-sits a hamster.

to:

* DeathGlare: Kristy's "Look"
* DarkerAndEdgier: The ''California Diaries'' series. However, the use of this trope surprisingly didn't come off as cheesy or overdone. It allowed for more character development and exploration of realistic adolescent themes, like depression, drifting away from childhood friends, and (arguably) closeted homosexuality.
* DidNotDoTheResearch: Notably on diabetes, autism, Judaism, body modification, ballet, Australia, the UK... the list goes on.
** When Stacey moves back to NYC, it's questioned whether her father can't simply commute to NYC from Stoneybrook for work, the answer being no, as it's "Too far". Enter the Stevenson family, who move from the non-specific "Long Island", New York to Stoneybrook supposedly because it's 'easier' for her mother to commute to Manhattan for work from Stoneybrook, and it's established that she takes a train, which was previous established in earlier Stacey books as being a two hour trip each way.
* DifferentAsNightAndDay: Abby and her twin sister Anna. Anna is musical, bookish, and introspective; Abby is athletic, noisy, and enjoys babysitting. About the only things they have in common are that they both have scoliosis and poor eyesight.
** Kristy and Mary Anne are also described like this; they're not sisters, but have been best friends practically their entire lives.
** [[TeenGenius Janine]] and [[BookDumb Claudia]].
* DisappearedDad: Kristy's father, Patrick Thomas, abandoned his wife and four children and almost never calls or writes.
* DoNotCallMePaul: Stacey is not fond of Maxie HATES being called Anastasia. Additionally, [[LastNameBasis King]], one of Logan's football teammates [[BerserkButton does NOT like it]] when people call him by his given name, Clarence.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: The whole plotline about Stacey's diabetes and the associated stigma leading to her moving away from New York lest she lose all her friends. In retrospect, the series' origins in the late eighties makes it likely the diabetes stood in for [[TheDiseaseThatShallNotBeNamed something else]].
* DrunkDriver: One of their classmates, Amelia, is killed by a drunk driver in ''Mary Anne and the Memory Garden''.
** Abby's father was killed by a drunk driver prior to her series debut. According to ''Abby's Book,'' his death is the reason their mom moves Abby and Anna to Stoneybrook in the first place -- to distance herself from the memories.
* EggSitting: One book focuses on this.
* EmbarrassingMiddleName: Dawn's middle name is Read. Figure that one out.
* EmbarrassingNickname: Boontsie (Stacey), Sunshine (Dawn), Shannie (Shannon)
* EnhanceButton: In one of the ''Super Mysteries'' specials.
Maxine.
* EveryoneLovesBlondes: There are two out of four white girls from out of state: Stacey, the sophisticated New Yorker, and Dawn, the breezy Californian. Lampshaded in one book where Kristy reminisces about how she first met Shannon (whom she intensely disliked at first) and snarks about the trope in relation to Shannon Both Palmer and her friends, who stepsister Georgette are all blonde.
* EverytownAmerica: Stoneybrook
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: {{Lampshaded}} by Jessi in ''Hello, Mallory,'' when she snarks that naming a babysitting club "The Baby-sitters Club" is incredibly obvious.
-->'''Jessi:''' I mean, it's like calling a restaurant The Restaurant.
* ExtrudedBookProduct: What eventually happened to the series.
* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: The BSC were allowed to succeed ''most'' of the time, but once the problems got big, like trying to keep an autistic savant from being sent OffToBoardingSchool or reform a racist family, the {{Aesop}} was always along the lines of You Can't Make A Difference When You're Thirteen Years Old. ''Little Sister'' was even worse about this, with Karen failing at nearly everything she tried to do because You ''Really'' Can't Make A Difference When You're Seven Years Old. The only time Karen actually succeeded was during a WholePlotReference to ''TheSecretGarden'', since you can't very well have your Mary Lennox surrogate not shake things up.
** To be fair, it ''is'' unlikely that they would have been able to reform the racist family - the children did seem like they wanted to play with the other kids, but given how controlling their parents were, there probably wasn't a good chance that they'd be able to.
* FanNickname: "K. Ron" (after L. Ron Hubbard) for Kristy
blonde, and "[=BSCult=]" have become popular on some snark communities.
* TheFilmOfTheBook
* FiveFiveFive: All phone numbers in this series begin with 555 (or [=KL5=],
Shanon has hair so light brown as to be more specific).
* FiveManBand: In early books, before the introduction of Mallory and Jessi.
** Literally, [[http://catandgirl.com/?p=1022 here]].
* FiveTokenBand
* {{Flanderization}}: All of the girls' quirks suffered this to some degree with the ghost writers, most notably Kristy's bossiness, Dawn's passion for environmental causes and Claudia's bad spelling.
technically dark blonde as well.
* FoodPorn: Especially prominent Creeps in Dawn here and Claudia books.
there, as the girls go on late-night junk food binges
* FourGirlEnsemble: Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia Lisa, Shanon, Amy and Stacey in the first four books.
* FrozenInTime: The girls spent literally dozens of birthdays, holidays and summers in eighth grade. At one point Claudia was demoted to seventh grade, but the others stayed in place. They finally finished middle school in the last book of the ''Friends Forever'' spinoff.
* FullNameBasis: [[WiseBeyondTheirYears Gabbie Perkins]] refers to everybody by their first and last names.
* FunetikAksent: Used for Jessi's ballet teacher, who is French.
** Also Logan's southern accent, the Hobarts' Australian accent, and any allergy speak.
** And in the Super Special where they go to camp, and one girl has a pronounced lisp.
* GenkiGirl: Abby, Karen
* GirlPosse: Grace and Bebe for Cokie Mason, Jannie and Leslie for Pamela Harding.
* TheGloriousWarOfSisterlyRivalry: Claudia and Janine; Marilyn and Carolyn Arnold; Dawn and Mary Anne exhibit signs of this
Palmer in the early days of their stepsisterhood.
* GoshdangItToHeck: Liberal use of "darn"
books, then Max and "heck" in place of actual swearing.
* GranolaGirl: Dawn
the other girls
* HairOfGold: Stacey Palmer and Dawn
* HaveAGayOldTime: In one of the 2010 reissues, "thongs" was changed to "flip-flops", for obvious reasons.
* HerCodeNameWasMarySue: Mallory writes a play that makes her look ideal. Her family? Not so much.
Georgette
* IAmNotPretty: Mallory sees herself as this.
* InformedAbility: Claudia is supposed to be a great artist, but since the books don't have any illustrations, we're not given much evidence.
* InformedAttribute: Dawn is supposed to be the "individual" of the group, but she changes her appearance and behavior not once, but twice - just to get a guy.
* InformedJudaism: Abby
* JerkAss: Kristy's dad is portrayed this way in the ''Forever Friends'' book where he remarries, and even moreso in TheMovie. It's also hinted at in ''Claudia's Book'', where she notes that as a little girl she seriously disliked Mr. Thomas.
* JuniorHigh
* KidDetective: There was an entire spinoff ''Mystery'' series based on this trope.
* KidsAreCruel: The classmates of the baby-sitting charges (especially Charlotte's classmates), though this is existent in the BSC's classmates as well, especially in Mallory and Jessi's sixth grade class.
** Some of the charges have this too - though mostly they're of the prank-playing kind. One of Claudia's charges once played a prank where she didn't tell Claudia that the chain of a swing was broken, thinking it'd just break under Claudia's weight when she sat on it. Instead, it held, the kid forgot to warn her, and the chain finally broke mid-swing, leading to [[GoneHorriblyRight Claudia breaking her leg so severely, she had to stay in the hospital with the leg in traction.]] The rest of the book switched between Claudia recovering and the club joining forces with some of their other charges to get the kid to stop playing pranks.
* TheKlutz: Jackie Rodowsky, AKA "The Walking Disaster"
* LawOfDisproportionateResponse: The Club had Andrew,
Shanon, who was pretending to be a monster, terrify the life out of one charge is often self-conscious because she didn't want to wear a smock and paint.
** Jessi accused
she's the one kid of being racist because poor local among the kid didn't want to play.
* LighterAndSofter: The ''Little Sister'' series. ''The Kids In Ms. Colman's Class'' was even lighter and softer than that.
* LittlestCancerPatient: In ''Jessi's Wish''. Other books had children with deafness, Down's Syndrome and autism. In one of the Super Specials, Stacey befriended a wheelchair-bound boy who was about to have surgery for a heart condition. May extend to Stacey herself, who was diabetic. In another book a babysitting charge has to adjust to blindness.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: Many, many minor and background characters who changed with every book.
* LongLostUncleAesop: Several times.
** In the [[VerySpecialEpisode Very Special Book]] that warned against drunk driving, a new character is introduced as one of the nicest, friendliest girls at SMS. [[SacrificialLamb She is killed almost immediately]] in a drunk-driving accident.
** In ''Jessi and the Awful Secret'', we meet a new character, a girl in Jessi's ballet class, who is then revealed to be anorexic.
** New, never-before-seen families ask for sitters in the books dealing with racism (''Keep Out, Claudia!'') and autism (''Kristy and the Secret of Susan'').
* LongRunningBookSeries: At ''least'' one book a month for more than ten years!
* LostWeddingRing: One book involves Stacey being accused of stealing a valuable ring. As it turns out, it was the cat's fault.
* MacGuffin: In some of the ''Mysteries'' books
* MassiveNumberedSiblings: The Pikes have eight children, including identical triplets. The Brewer-Thomases and the Barrett-[=DeWitts=] are also examples of this trope, although they are blended families.
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: Appears pretty much whenever the girls deal with something weird. They usually get a mundane explanation that covers most--but not all--of what's been going on. Particular examples would include ''The Ghost at Dawn's House'' and ''Mary Anne's Bad Luck Mystery.''
** Also, the first book in the Little Sister series, where the only undebunked evidence Karen has at the end is that she saw the lady she thinks is a witch flying on a broom... and that might have been a dream.
* MeaningfulName: This is most likely completely unintentional, but [[ButtMonkey "Mallory"]] is Norman French for "unlucky".
* MeatVersusVeggies: The Schafer-Spier family deals with this a lot.
* {{Melodrama}}: There's no other word to describe the scene in ''Boy-Crazy Stacey'' where the girls are saying goodbye. They're all going their (temporary) separate ways and the waterworks are endless. Sobbing, hugging, wailing. How long will they be apart? ''Two weeks.''
* MiddleChildSyndrome: Tiffany Kilbourne
* MissingMom: Mary Anne's mother died of cancer when she was very little. She left a letter to Mary Anne that she was to have received on her sixteenth birthday.
* MistakenAge
* MoodWhiplash: ''Claudia and the Terrible Truth'', where the VerySpecialEpisode-esque main plot (the girls finding out that two of their new charges are being abused by their father) is interspersed with the sitters helping kids preparing for a St. Patrick's Day parade.
* MostWritersAreAdults
* MultigenerationalHousehold: The Thomas-Brewers and the Kishis before Mimi's death.
* MustHaveLotsOfFreeTime: Charlie, Kristy's seventeen-year-old brother, who apparently has all the time in the world to drive Kristy, Shannon, Abby, etc. wherever they need to go.
rich students
* NaiveEverygirl: Mary Anne and, to some extent, Mallory.
* TheNamesake: The title club is sometimes the only thing its members have in common.
* NamesTheSame: Two characters are named Sabrina Bouvier - a child beauty queen that BSC meets in ''Little Miss Stoneybrook ... and Dawn'', and later a classmate at SMS.
** {{Lampshaded}} in ''Here Come the Bridesmaids!'' where the narrator acknowledges that both the [=BSC=] and the W♥KC have a regular sitting charge named Ryan [=DeWitt=], and no, they're not related.
* NewYearsResolution
* NonHumanSidekick: Several, although Mary Anne's cat Tigger is probably the most frequently showcased -- partly because Mary Anne, unlike the others, is an only child.
* NoPeriodsPeriod: It's plausible for a thirteen-year-old girl not to have started her period yet, which makes a reasonable justification for the trope, but it's decidedly less plausible that ''none'' of them would have started menstruating by that age.
** Presumably it's not mentioned because the target age range for the books was a bit younger than thirteen, and they didn't want to freak out the kids (or their parents). One has to wonder, though, how it was deemed allowable to mention bras and bra shopping.
** Kids would know what a bra is ("It's like a double-barrel slingshot!"), but it would be unlikely that their parents would have had the talk with them. Or maybe they do have periods, [[TooMuchInformation but it's just not mentioned.]]
* NotAllowedToGrowUp: The first few books show the passage of time as the original five complete seventh grade and start eighth, but once they're in eighth grade, they stay there until the last book of the series finally lets them graduate.
* OldNewBorrowedAndBlue: When Kristy's mom gets married, her underwear is her "something blue." TooMuchInformation.
Shanon
* OffToBoardingSchool: [[spoiler:Mallory]], although this was actually HER decision.
Everyone, obviously.
* OfficialCouple: Mary Anne Shanon and Logan. Kristy and Bart Mars, despite the odds, are an official sort-of-couple, and Stacey's part of actually the only two penpals to stick together through the entire series. By the final book, when everyone is a few.
bit older, it's pretty clearly hinted that the two have a strong romantic pull.
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: Kristy, Stacey (short for Anastasia), Jessi, Abby, and many minor characters.
* OnlySaneMan: Jessi and Mallory in some of the later books.
* PlayingPictionary: It
Mars, whose real name is suggested that one say something along the lines of "What a nice picture! Can you tell me about it?" when confronted with a child's drawing, because "you don't want to say 'what a lovely elephant!' and have it turn out to be a picture of their grandmother."
* PoisonousFriend: Ashley, who encouraged Claudia to leave the club and spend more time on her artwork. Also the "bad girls" group that Stacey falls in with later in the series.
* ProtagonistCenteredMorality: In book #12, the girls get bitchy over Claudia spending time with a new friend and go as far as to short-sheet her bed, mess with her belongings, and leave her a series of nasty notes. But in the end, ''Claudia'' is the one who owes ''them'' an apology for "being a bad friend."
** The girls also viciously shun Mary Anne in another story after she commits the mortal sin of... getting a stylish new haircut. Everything's back to hunky dory by the end of the book.
* PungeonMaster: Abby
* RealMenHateSugar: In one of the books when Nicky Pike and Buddy Barrett refuse to eat cookies after having been teased for attending a "girly" sewing class.
* RetCon: Early on, Jill, a member of the We ♥ Kids Club, is established as serious and thoughtful; at one point, Dawn describes her as being like Mary Anne. In the first ''California Diaries'' book she is portrayed as very childish, which contributes to Dawn, Maggie and Sunny drifting away from her.
** The Brewer children's mother and stepfather are named as Sheila and Kendall in an early book, later retconned to Lisa and Seth when they feature more prominently in later titles.
** Similarly, Mary Anne's late mother was named Abigail in the fourth book, but later books identify her as Alma. This is also fixed in reprints.
** There was a short spinoff series where each of the girls writes an autobiography. They must have been written by different writers, because Kristy, Mary Anne, and Claudia have conflicting memories of their elementary school years (when they all knew each other).
* RhymesOnADime: Vanessa Pike
* RougeAnglesOfSatin: Claudia frequently writes like this.
* TheRival: Cokie. Also, one book featured the girls facing off against a rival babysitting club.
* SameSexTriplets: The Pike triplets
* SandInMyEyes: Kristy pulls this one in TheMovie, claiming to her mother that "I've got ''allergies''!"
Arthur Martinez
* SchoolPlay: One of Another opportunity for the specials was about girls to spend time with the club members and babysitting charges appearing in a musical.
* SecretSanta
boys, naturally
* ShrinkingViolet: Mary Anne; Kristy's little stepbrother Andrew is presented this way too.
** Charlotte Johanssen, DependingOnTheWriter
Shanon, quite often
* SiblingYinYang: Claudia and Janine, Abby and Anna, Karen and Andrew
* SixthRanger: Dawn, Mallory, Jessi, Abby.
* SnoopingLittleKid
* {{Spinoff}}: The ''Little Sister'' and ''California Diaries'' series. ''The Kids In Ms. Colman's Class'' is a spinoff of ''LS.''
* SpoiledBrat: Jenny Prezzioso; to many fans, Karen Brewer also qualifies.
* StartMyOwn: When the [=BSC=] goes crazy testing Mallory about whether she's a good enough sitter, she and Jessi start up "Kids Incorporated."
* StrawFan: Believe it or not, one of the books deals with Mallory claiming to be the biggest fan of a fictional children's author, meeting the author and giving her a hard time about not 'writing what she knows.' Fortunately, [[ItGotBetter she learns her lesson
SnoopingLittleKid: Palmer's younger stepsister Georgette, in the end.]]
* SweetTooth: Claudia
* SwitchingPOV: And the "I" in this book refers to...
* TechnicianVersusPerformer: Kristy and Abby, with sports. In Kristy's own words, she's a sportsperson, while Abby is a natural athlete.
later books
* TechnologyMarchesOn: A big deal In one book, Shanon sneaks into the newspaper office in order to instant message with Amy's penpal John, a member of the newspaper at the boys' school, in order to get information about another roommate's penpal. Much is always made of Claudia having her own phone line for them to use as the Babysitter's Club number. Nowadays they'd probably all have cell phones.
* TeenGenius: Claudia's sister Janine
** Janine suffers from most TVGenius symptoms, including SesquipedalianLoquaciousness, IntelligenceEqualsIsolation, NerdGlasses, and OmnidisciplinaryScientist, and she [[ImprobablyHighIQ has an IQ of 196]].
*** Surprisingly, though, with such a high IQ all they have her do is take a few courses at the local community college.
* ThemeTwinNaming: Marilyn and Carolyn Arnold, Abigail and Anna Stevenson, Mariah and Miranda Shillaber, Terri and Tammy Barkan, Ricky and Rose Salem. Averted with the Pike triplets Adam, Byron, and Jordan.
* TokenMinority: Jessi.
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Kristy and Mary Anne, Abby and Anna, Carolyn and Marilyn Arnold
* TrueCompanions: No matter what happens, the girls are there for each other.
* {{Tuckerization}}
* TwinSwitch: Marilyn and Carolyn did
this once while Mallory was babysitting.
* TwoFirstNames: Kristy Thomas; Logan, Hunter and Kerry Bruno; Marilyn and Carolyn Arnold
* VerySpecialEpisode: Several books showcased a particular social issue, including racism, hazing, eating disorders and single parenting. They did not deal with topics like illicit drugs and sexuality, and only briefly touched on alcohol, which might have been considered inappropriate for the target audience.
* ViewersAreGoldfish: The main characters got repeatedly introduced and described in every book. {{Lampshaded}} by the various snark communities as being the standard contents of chapter two.
* WhereTheresAWillTheresAStickyNote: Mimi in ''Claudia and the Sad Goodbye''.
* WeddingDay: Kristy's mother and stepfather, Mary Anne's father and Dawn's mother, Dawn's father and stepmother, two sitting clients, Kristy's father and stepmother...
* WhenYouComingHomeDad:
** Stacey's dad is a workaholic who rarely spends time with her.
** Abby's mother is like this too. Possibly justified to an extent, since she's a single parent with two teenagers to support.
** Shannon Kilbourne's father is never home, either.
** One book had a subplot in which the sitters begin taking care of two kids who are constantly forced to attend extra-curricular classes and sports activities because their parents are always at work.
* WritersCannotDoMath: The number of bedrooms in Watson's house never seems to add up. Kristy says his house has 9 bedrooms, which should mean one each for Watson and Elizabeth, Kristy, Sam, Charlie, David Michael, Karen, Andrew, Emily Michelle and Nannie. However, in another book Kristy says that each of her brothers could have a whole suite of rooms if they wanted, and occasionally they've had entire families stay over with no discussion of people moving or sharing rooms. However, possibly the "9 bedrooms" refers only to the bedrooms on the first and second floors. It's mentioned that there is a third floor and an attic that are never used ([[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial which is most certainly not because the ghost of Ben Brewer haunts them]]), so her brothers ''could'' have suites, but would have to move to the upper floors.
* WrittenSoundEffect: Ghostwriter Peter Lerangis LOVES omnomatopoeia.
* YouMeddlingKids: The basic plot of the ''Mysteries'' specials
* YoureNotMyFather: Kristy drops this one on Watson in TheMovie, after a visit with her notoriously flaky biological father.
* YourTomcatIsPregnant: Shows up in one book when Jessi pet-sits a hamster.
newfangled technology.
6th Jun '12 8:47:51 AM joannact
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There were at least three spinoff series: ''Baby-Sitter's Little Sister'' (about Kristy's seven-year-old stepsister, Karen); ''CaliforniaDiaries'' (about Dawn and her friends in California); and ''Friends Forever'' (in which the club was reduced to its original four members). As well as these and the main series, there were additional ''Mysteries'' and ''Super Specials'' books. ''Little Sister'' also had its own spinoff, ''The Kids In Ms. Colman's Class.''



* AddedAlliterativeAppeal: The softball teams that Kristy and Bart coach are called, respectively, Kristy's Krushers and Bart's Bashers.
* AesopAmnesia: A number of examples, but one that stands out in particular is the relationship between Claudia and her genius sister Janine. There were many books where the two of them bonded over junk food, had a heart-to-heart talk, and realized that the two of them were NotSoDifferent. By the next book, their relationship was [[ResetButton back to where it was]].
** Also a feature in many Little Sister books, where Karen learns not to be a brat only to promptly forget it by the time the next book comes around.
* AdultsAreUseless: Averted. The parents are generally pretty good parents, and the sitters will not hesitate to take advice from them. Sometimes played straight in the ''Mysteries'' series, if the girls going to an authority figure would break the plot.
** However, also often played straight in that the parents of charges are frequently clueless about problems their children are having, until told by the BSC. For example:
*** Mrs. Arnold not realising that her identical twin daughters are acting out because they're sick of being treated like they're one person.
*** Mrs. Addison failing to realize that her kids want to spend some time with her instead of being dumped on sitters all the time.
*** Mrs. Barrett, when she's first introduced, is in the middle of an unpleasant divorce; as a result she is highly disorganized and does things like neglecting to leave the sitters with contact information and even forgetting to inform Dawn of one kid's allergies.
*** In a later book, Mrs. Prezzioso not noticing her older daughter's obsessive finicky behaviour and then acting out, as she was too distracted by becoming a pageant mom for her younger daughter.
* TheAllegedCar: The Junk Bucket, The Pink Clinker. (To be fair, the Pink Clinker works well - Nannie just likes to call it that.)
* AllGirlsLikePonies: Mallory and Jessi
* AlphaBitch: Cokie Mason. In the ''Little Sister'' spinoff, Pamela Harding.
* AlwaysIdenticalTwins: Abby and Anna, Marilyn and Carolyn, Mariah and Miranda, not to mention the Pike triplets.
* AmbiguouslyGay: Ducky, in the ''California Diaries''. His best friends are all platonic teenage girls, and his last scene in the series has him buying a ton of books from a bunch of gay authors.
** Some fans suspect that Kristy fits this trope. She could occasionally be persuaded to wear a dress, and did have an on-off "boyfriend" named Bart, but never seemed to take as much of an interest in him as the other girls did with their own boyfriends (then finally broke up with him.) And in the movie, as WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick noted, there's what can only be described as a LongingLook between her and Claudia.
* AmicablyDivorced: Watson and Lisa
* {{Arc}}: Some plotlines spread over a couple of books, such as Kristy adjusting to her stepfamily. At the end of the series [[spoiler:Mary Anne's house burned down]], which was the background for the ''Friends Forever'' spinoff.
** The Dawn-considers-moving-back-to-California plotline lasted for so many books that many fans were extremely glad when [[spoiler:she ultimately did move back]] and she finally stopped agonizing about this decision.
* AscendedExtra: Mallory, who started out as a baby-sitting charge.
* AsianAirhead: Claudia. Early books treated this very mildly; later books made her seem almost borderline developmentally delayed.
** Made worse in the movie. [[TheNostalgiaChick One movie critic]] stated the theory that she was "basically a functional retard."
* AsianAndNerdy: Janine Kishi
* BathroomStallOfOverheardInsults
* BeautyContest: Little Miss Stoneybrook
* BechdelTest: Passes with great ease.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Mary Anne gets ''extremely'' vindictive when pushed too far.
* BigApplesauce: Stacey is constantly reminding the readers how awesome New York is. The other book narrators make a big deal out of Stacey being from the city as well.
* BlackBestFriend: Jessi to the other girls.
* BlitheSpirit: [[SixthRanger Abby]] is noticeably sassier and more irreverent than the other girls, particularly where (post-{{Flanderization}}) Kristy's rules and bossiness are concerned.
* TheBoardGame: Two, actually. A regular one and a mystery one.
* BookDumb: Claudia. Poor, poor Claudia.
* {{Bookworm}}: Mallory
* BrattyHalfPint: Karen. Dear god, Karen. Jenny Prezzioso is seen as such by the sitters.
* BrattyTeenageDaughter: Dawn has probably the worst example of this trope in ''Here Come the Bridesmaids!'' when her father is getting remarried. She all but pitches a fit because her stepmother-to-be doesn't want to have Mary Anne as a bridesmaid as well as Dawn. Remember, Mary Anne is Dawn's stepsister on her ''mother's'' side and is not remotely related to Dawn's father, let alone his new bride.
* BusmansHoliday: Probably the worst example was when the girls were in New York and a British diplomat oh-so-conveniently staying in the same building as Stacey's friend Laine needed two thirteen-year-old baby-sitters to show his kids around the city.
** They even ''assume'' that they will be taking a BusmansHoliday wherever they go, such as when Dawn goes to visit her dad in California and remarks that she may babysit for some of her old clients while she's there. You know, because their parents wouldn't have found new sitters since she left the state, and would be so thoughtless as to intrude on her two weeks with her non-custodial parent by asking her to work.
* ButtMonkey: Poor Mallory! [[http://community.livejournal.com/bsc_snark/39867.html Here's a list.]]
* CharacterNameAndTheNounPhrase: This series practically owns this trope.
* ChildProdigy: Naturally the kid gets paired with [[BookDumb Claudia]].
* ChristmasInJuly: The BSC throw a "Christmas in Summer" party for sitting charge James Hobart, who is Australian, to cheer him up when he has a broken leg. This happened again at summer camp.
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: This is pretty much the case for most of the girls' non-[=BSC=] friends, with the major exceptions being Laine Cummings, Stacey's on-again, off-again best friend from New York, and Sunny Winslow, Dawn's TroubledButCute best friend from California. But Sunny started her own baby-sitting club, anyway, so she doesn't really count.
* ClassTrip: Several, most notably the school-wide ski trip.
* ClingyJealousGirl: Dawn shows a dose of this in ''Mary Anne's Makeover,'' in which she admits that she's jealous of all the time Mary Anne's been spending with her father and that it makes her miss her own terribly. Dawn comes off as being resentful of Mary Anne for having her father around...apparently forgetting that ''this is Mary Anne's only living parent.''
* ComicBookTime
* CoolOldLady: Nannie
* CostumePorn: Any given book will have several detailed descriptions of all the girls' outfits, but especially Claudia's. There's usually a shopping trip to the local mall, too, which enters FridgeLogic territory when one wonders how they manage to afford all that stuff on their $4.00-an-hour babysitting gigs.
* DaddyDidntShow: Happens to Kristy in TheMovie.

to:

* AddedAlliterativeAppeal: The softball teams that Kristy and Bart coach are called, respectively, Kristy's Krushers and Bart's Bashers.
* AesopAmnesia: A number of examples, but one that stands out in particular is the relationship between Claudia and her genius sister Janine. There were many books where the two of them bonded over junk food, had a heart-to-heart talk, and realized that the two of them were NotSoDifferent. By the next book, their relationship was [[ResetButton back to where it was]].
** Also a feature in many Little Sister books, where Karen learns not to be a brat only to promptly forget it by the time the next book comes around.
* AdultsAreUseless: Averted. The parents are generally pretty good parents, and the sitters will not hesitate to take advice from them. Sometimes played straight Like most books in the ''Mysteries'' series, if genre, this series has the girls going to an authority figure would break the plot.
** However, also often played straight in that the parents of charges are frequently clueless
main characters running around doing just about problems everything on their children are having, until told by the BSC. For example:
*** Mrs. Arnold not realising that her identical twin daughters are acting out because they're sick of being treated like they're one person.
*** Mrs. Addison failing to realize that her kids want to spend some time with her instead of being dumped on sitters all the time.
*** Mrs. Barrett, when she's first introduced, is in the middle of an unpleasant divorce; as a result she is highly disorganized and does things like neglecting to leave the sitters with contact information and even forgetting to inform Dawn of one kid's allergies.
*** In a later book, Mrs. Prezzioso not noticing her older daughter's obsessive finicky behaviour and then acting out, as she was too distracted by becoming a pageant mom for her younger daughter.
* TheAllegedCar: The Junk Bucket, The Pink Clinker. (To be fair, the Pink Clinker works well - Nannie just likes to call it that.)
* AllGirlsLikePonies: Mallory and Jessi
own.
* AlphaBitch: Cokie Mason. In the ''Little Sister'' spinoff, Pamela Harding.
* AlwaysIdenticalTwins: Abby and Anna, Marilyn and Carolyn, Mariah and Miranda, not to mention the Pike triplets.
* AmbiguouslyGay: Ducky, in the ''California Diaries''. His best friends are all platonic teenage girls, and his last scene in the series has him buying a ton of books from a bunch of gay authors.
** Some fans suspect that Kristy fits this trope. She could occasionally be persuaded to wear a dress, and did have an on-off "boyfriend" named Bart, but never seemed to take as much of an interest in him as the other girls did with their own boyfriends (then finally broke up with him.) And in the movie, as WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick noted, there's what can only be described as a LongingLook between her and Claudia.
* AmicablyDivorced: Watson and Lisa
* {{Arc}}: Some plotlines spread over a couple of books, such as Kristy adjusting to her stepfamily. At the end
Palmer, about 90% of the series [[spoiler:Mary Anne's house burned down]], which was the background for the ''Friends Forever'' spinoff.
** The Dawn-considers-moving-back-to-California plotline lasted for so many books that many fans were extremely glad when [[spoiler:she ultimately did move back]] and she finally stopped agonizing about this decision.
* AscendedExtra: Mallory, who started out as a baby-sitting charge.
time
* AsianAirhead: Claudia. Early books treated this very mildly; later books made her seem almost borderline developmentally delayed.
** Made worse in the movie. [[TheNostalgiaChick One movie critic]] stated the theory that she was "basically a functional retard."
* AsianAndNerdy: Janine Kishi
* BathroomStallOfOverheardInsults
* BeautyContest: Little Miss Stoneybrook
* BechdelTest: Passes with great ease.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Mary Anne gets ''extremely'' vindictive when pushed too far.
* BigApplesauce: Stacey
Averted. Amy is pretty smart, constantly reminding the readers how awesome New York is. The other book narrators make a big deal out of Stacey being from the city as well.
making witty remarks and writing her own songs.
* BlackBestFriend: Jessi to the other girls.
* BlitheSpirit: [[SixthRanger Abby]] is noticeably sassier and more irreverent than the other girls, particularly where (post-{{Flanderization}}) Kristy's rules and bossiness
There are concerned.
* TheBoardGame: Two, actually. A regular one and a mystery one.
* BookDumb: Claudia. Poor, poor Claudia.
really NO black students in this posh boarding school.
* {{Bookworm}}: Mallory
* BrattyHalfPint: Karen. Dear god, Karen. Jenny Prezzioso is seen as such by the sitters.
* BrattyTeenageDaughter: Dawn has probably the worst example of this trope in ''Here Come the Bridesmaids!'' when her father is getting remarried. She all but pitches a fit because her stepmother-to-be doesn't want to have Mary Anne as a bridesmaid as well as Dawn. Remember, Mary Anne is Dawn's stepsister on her ''mother's'' side and is not remotely related to Dawn's father, let alone his new bride.
* BusmansHoliday: Probably the worst example was when the girls were in New York and a British diplomat oh-so-conveniently staying in the same building as Stacey's friend Laine needed two thirteen-year-old baby-sitters to show his kids around the city.
** They even ''assume'' that they will be taking a BusmansHoliday wherever they go, such as when Dawn goes to visit her dad in California and remarks that she may babysit for some of her old clients while she's there. You know, because their parents wouldn't have found new sitters since she left the state, and would be so thoughtless as to intrude on her two weeks with her non-custodial parent by asking her to work.
* ButtMonkey: Poor Mallory! [[http://community.livejournal.com/bsc_snark/39867.html Here's a list.]]
* CharacterNameAndTheNounPhrase: This series practically owns this trope.
Shanon
* ChildProdigy: Naturally Once again, Shanon, the kid gets paired with [[BookDumb Claudia]].
* ChristmasInJuly: The BSC throw a "Christmas in Summer" party for sitting charge James Hobart,
scholarship kid, who is Australian, to cheer him up when he has a broken leg. This happened again at summer camp.
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: This is pretty much
year younger than the case for most of the girls' non-[=BSC=] friends, with the major exceptions being Laine Cummings, Stacey's on-again, off-again best friend from New York, and Sunny Winslow, Dawn's TroubledButCute best friend from California. But Sunny started her own baby-sitting club, anyway, so she doesn't really count.
other girls
* ClassTrip: Several, Many, just like most notably the school-wide ski trip.
* ClingyJealousGirl: Dawn shows a dose of
other girls' series in this in ''Mary Anne's Makeover,'' in which she admits that she's jealous of all the time Mary Anne's been spending with her father and that it makes her miss her own terribly. Dawn comes off as being resentful of Mary Anne for having her father around...apparently forgetting that ''this is Mary Anne's only living parent.''
* ComicBookTime
* CoolOldLady: Nannie
genre
* CostumePorn: Any given book will have several detailed descriptions Pretty much every book. It's a general shangri-la of all the girls' outfits, but especially Claudia's. There's usually a shopping trip to the local mall, too, which enters FridgeLogic territory when one wonders how they manage to afford all that stuff on their $4.00-an-hour babysitting gigs.
hideous early '90s tween fashions.
* DaddyDidntShow: Happens to Kristy Palmer. Her divorced parents shower her with money and gifts, but are never really involved in TheMovie.her life.
6th Jun '12 8:41:21 AM joannact
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Added DiffLines:

Short-running late '80s/early '90s girls' series about four adolescent girls rooming together in an all-girls boarding school in rural New Hampshire. Desperate to find a way to meet some boys, they advertise in the school paper for boy penpals. The series details the girls' relationships with these boys, one another, other classmates, teacher and family members.

'''The main characters'''
* Lisa McGreevy - Pennsylvania native whose parents are divorced; came to boarding school because her mother had once attended
* Shanon Davis - local girl from a poor family whose academic brilliance landed her a scholarship at the prestigious school
* Amy Ho - Asian-American punk rocker and songwriter, born in Taiwan but raised in New York City
* Palmer Durand - snobby rich blonde from Florida, also with divorced and emotionally distant parents
* Maxine "Max" Schloss - replaces Lisa after she decides to return home to be with her mother; child of a rich and famous comedian, yet down-to-earth and tries to hide her family connections

'''Recurring secondary characters'''
* Rob - Lisa's penpal; an all-around nice guy
* Mars (Arthur) Martinez - Shanon's penpal; a goofy guy full of crazy schemes
* John Adams - a shy, poetic boy who is initially Palmer's penpal but later ends up Amy's
* Paul Grant - Max's penpal; just as shy and awkward as she is, although they clearly like one another
* Miss Prynn - the school's headmistress
* Georgette Durand - Palmer's younger stepsister, who later attends the school; Palmer finds her annoying, although to the amusement of others, the two are very much alike
* Kate - an older girl who is idolized by Shanon, yet thought to be a nerd by the others





There were at least three spinoff series: ''Baby-Sitter's Little Sister'' (about Kristy's seven-year-old stepsister, Karen); ''CaliforniaDiaries'' (about Dawn and her friends in California); and ''Friends Forever'' (in which the club was reduced to its original four members). As well as these and the main series, there were additional ''Mysteries'' and ''Super Specials'' books. ''Little Sister'' also had its own spinoff, ''The Kids In Ms. Colman's Class.''

----
!!The books provide examples of:
* AddedAlliterativeAppeal: The softball teams that Kristy and Bart coach are called, respectively, Kristy's Krushers and Bart's Bashers.
* AesopAmnesia: A number of examples, but one that stands out in particular is the relationship between Claudia and her genius sister Janine. There were many books where the two of them bonded over junk food, had a heart-to-heart talk, and realized that the two of them were NotSoDifferent. By the next book, their relationship was [[ResetButton back to where it was]].
** Also a feature in many Little Sister books, where Karen learns not to be a brat only to promptly forget it by the time the next book comes around.
* AdultsAreUseless: Averted. The parents are generally pretty good parents, and the sitters will not hesitate to take advice from them. Sometimes played straight in the ''Mysteries'' series, if the girls going to an authority figure would break the plot.
** However, also often played straight in that the parents of charges are frequently clueless about problems their children are having, until told by the BSC. For example:
*** Mrs. Arnold not realising that her identical twin daughters are acting out because they're sick of being treated like they're one person.
*** Mrs. Addison failing to realize that her kids want to spend some time with her instead of being dumped on sitters all the time.
*** Mrs. Barrett, when she's first introduced, is in the middle of an unpleasant divorce; as a result she is highly disorganized and does things like neglecting to leave the sitters with contact information and even forgetting to inform Dawn of one kid's allergies.
*** In a later book, Mrs. Prezzioso not noticing her older daughter's obsessive finicky behaviour and then acting out, as she was too distracted by becoming a pageant mom for her younger daughter.
* TheAllegedCar: The Junk Bucket, The Pink Clinker. (To be fair, the Pink Clinker works well - Nannie just likes to call it that.)
* AllGirlsLikePonies: Mallory and Jessi
* AlphaBitch: Cokie Mason. In the ''Little Sister'' spinoff, Pamela Harding.
* AlwaysIdenticalTwins: Abby and Anna, Marilyn and Carolyn, Mariah and Miranda, not to mention the Pike triplets.
* AmbiguouslyGay: Ducky, in the ''California Diaries''. His best friends are all platonic teenage girls, and his last scene in the series has him buying a ton of books from a bunch of gay authors.
** Some fans suspect that Kristy fits this trope. She could occasionally be persuaded to wear a dress, and did have an on-off "boyfriend" named Bart, but never seemed to take as much of an interest in him as the other girls did with their own boyfriends (then finally broke up with him.) And in the movie, as WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick noted, there's what can only be described as a LongingLook between her and Claudia.
* AmicablyDivorced: Watson and Lisa
* {{Arc}}: Some plotlines spread over a couple of books, such as Kristy adjusting to her stepfamily. At the end of the series [[spoiler:Mary Anne's house burned down]], which was the background for the ''Friends Forever'' spinoff.
** The Dawn-considers-moving-back-to-California plotline lasted for so many books that many fans were extremely glad when [[spoiler:she ultimately did move back]] and she finally stopped agonizing about this decision.
* AscendedExtra: Mallory, who started out as a baby-sitting charge.
* AsianAirhead: Claudia. Early books treated this very mildly; later books made her seem almost borderline developmentally delayed.
** Made worse in the movie. [[TheNostalgiaChick One movie critic]] stated the theory that she was "basically a functional retard."
* AsianAndNerdy: Janine Kishi
* BathroomStallOfOverheardInsults
* BeautyContest: Little Miss Stoneybrook
* BechdelTest: Passes with great ease.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Mary Anne gets ''extremely'' vindictive when pushed too far.
* BigApplesauce: Stacey is constantly reminding the readers how awesome New York is. The other book narrators make a big deal out of Stacey being from the city as well.
* BlackBestFriend: Jessi to the other girls.
* BlitheSpirit: [[SixthRanger Abby]] is noticeably sassier and more irreverent than the other girls, particularly where (post-{{Flanderization}}) Kristy's rules and bossiness are concerned.
* TheBoardGame: Two, actually. A regular one and a mystery one.
* BookDumb: Claudia. Poor, poor Claudia.
* {{Bookworm}}: Mallory
* BrattyHalfPint: Karen. Dear god, Karen. Jenny Prezzioso is seen as such by the sitters.
* BrattyTeenageDaughter: Dawn has probably the worst example of this trope in ''Here Come the Bridesmaids!'' when her father is getting remarried. She all but pitches a fit because her stepmother-to-be doesn't want to have Mary Anne as a bridesmaid as well as Dawn. Remember, Mary Anne is Dawn's stepsister on her ''mother's'' side and is not remotely related to Dawn's father, let alone his new bride.
* BusmansHoliday: Probably the worst example was when the girls were in New York and a British diplomat oh-so-conveniently staying in the same building as Stacey's friend Laine needed two thirteen-year-old baby-sitters to show his kids around the city.
** They even ''assume'' that they will be taking a BusmansHoliday wherever they go, such as when Dawn goes to visit her dad in California and remarks that she may babysit for some of her old clients while she's there. You know, because their parents wouldn't have found new sitters since she left the state, and would be so thoughtless as to intrude on her two weeks with her non-custodial parent by asking her to work.
* ButtMonkey: Poor Mallory! [[http://community.livejournal.com/bsc_snark/39867.html Here's a list.]]
* CharacterNameAndTheNounPhrase: This series practically owns this trope.
* ChildProdigy: Naturally the kid gets paired with [[BookDumb Claudia]].
* ChristmasInJuly: The BSC throw a "Christmas in Summer" party for sitting charge James Hobart, who is Australian, to cheer him up when he has a broken leg. This happened again at summer camp.
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: This is pretty much the case for most of the girls' non-[=BSC=] friends, with the major exceptions being Laine Cummings, Stacey's on-again, off-again best friend from New York, and Sunny Winslow, Dawn's TroubledButCute best friend from California. But Sunny started her own baby-sitting club, anyway, so she doesn't really count.
* ClassTrip: Several, most notably the school-wide ski trip.
* ClingyJealousGirl: Dawn shows a dose of this in ''Mary Anne's Makeover,'' in which she admits that she's jealous of all the time Mary Anne's been spending with her father and that it makes her miss her own terribly. Dawn comes off as being resentful of Mary Anne for having her father around...apparently forgetting that ''this is Mary Anne's only living parent.''
* ComicBookTime
* CoolOldLady: Nannie
* CostumePorn: Any given book will have several detailed descriptions of all the girls' outfits, but especially Claudia's. There's usually a shopping trip to the local mall, too, which enters FridgeLogic territory when one wonders how they manage to afford all that stuff on their $4.00-an-hour babysitting gigs.
* DaddyDidntShow: Happens to Kristy in TheMovie.
* DeathGlare: Kristy's "Look"
* DarkerAndEdgier: The ''California Diaries'' series. However, the use of this trope surprisingly didn't come off as cheesy or overdone. It allowed for more character development and exploration of realistic adolescent themes, like depression, drifting away from childhood friends, and (arguably) closeted homosexuality.
* DidNotDoTheResearch: Notably on diabetes, autism, Judaism, body modification, ballet, Australia, the UK... the list goes on.
** When Stacey moves back to NYC, it's questioned whether her father can't simply commute to NYC from Stoneybrook for work, the answer being no, as it's "Too far". Enter the Stevenson family, who move from the non-specific "Long Island", New York to Stoneybrook supposedly because it's 'easier' for her mother to commute to Manhattan for work from Stoneybrook, and it's established that she takes a train, which was previous established in earlier Stacey books as being a two hour trip each way.
* DifferentAsNightAndDay: Abby and her twin sister Anna. Anna is musical, bookish, and introspective; Abby is athletic, noisy, and enjoys babysitting. About the only things they have in common are that they both have scoliosis and poor eyesight.
** Kristy and Mary Anne are also described like this; they're not sisters, but have been best friends practically their entire lives.
** [[TeenGenius Janine]] and [[BookDumb Claudia]].
* DisappearedDad: Kristy's father, Patrick Thomas, abandoned his wife and four children and almost never calls or writes.
* DoNotCallMePaul: Stacey is not fond of being called Anastasia. Additionally, [[LastNameBasis King]], one of Logan's football teammates [[BerserkButton does NOT like it]] when people call him by his given name, Clarence.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: The whole plotline about Stacey's diabetes and the associated stigma leading to her moving away from New York lest she lose all her friends. In retrospect, the series' origins in the late eighties makes it likely the diabetes stood in for [[TheDiseaseThatShallNotBeNamed something else]].
* DrunkDriver: One of their classmates, Amelia, is killed by a drunk driver in ''Mary Anne and the Memory Garden''.
** Abby's father was killed by a drunk driver prior to her series debut. According to ''Abby's Book,'' his death is the reason their mom moves Abby and Anna to Stoneybrook in the first place -- to distance herself from the memories.
* EggSitting: One book focuses on this.
* EmbarrassingMiddleName: Dawn's middle name is Read. Figure that one out.
* EmbarrassingNickname: Boontsie (Stacey), Sunshine (Dawn), Shannie (Shannon)
* EnhanceButton: In one of the ''Super Mysteries'' specials.
* EveryoneLovesBlondes: There are two out of four white girls from out of state: Stacey, the sophisticated New Yorker, and Dawn, the breezy Californian. Lampshaded in one book where Kristy reminisces about how she first met Shannon (whom she intensely disliked at first) and snarks about the trope in relation to Shannon and her friends, who are all blonde.
* EverytownAmerica: Stoneybrook
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: {{Lampshaded}} by Jessi in ''Hello, Mallory,'' when she snarks that naming a babysitting club "The Baby-sitters Club" is incredibly obvious.
-->'''Jessi:''' I mean, it's like calling a restaurant The Restaurant.
* ExtrudedBookProduct: What eventually happened to the series.
* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: The BSC were allowed to succeed ''most'' of the time, but once the problems got big, like trying to keep an autistic savant from being sent OffToBoardingSchool or reform a racist family, the {{Aesop}} was always along the lines of You Can't Make A Difference When You're Thirteen Years Old. ''Little Sister'' was even worse about this, with Karen failing at nearly everything she tried to do because You ''Really'' Can't Make A Difference When You're Seven Years Old. The only time Karen actually succeeded was during a WholePlotReference to ''TheSecretGarden'', since you can't very well have your Mary Lennox surrogate not shake things up.
** To be fair, it ''is'' unlikely that they would have been able to reform the racist family - the children did seem like they wanted to play with the other kids, but given how controlling their parents were, there probably wasn't a good chance that they'd be able to.
* FanNickname: "K. Ron" (after L. Ron Hubbard) for Kristy and "[=BSCult=]" have become popular on some snark communities.
* TheFilmOfTheBook
* FiveFiveFive: All phone numbers in this series begin with 555 (or [=KL5=], to be more specific).
* FiveManBand: In early books, before the introduction of Mallory and Jessi.
** Literally, [[http://catandgirl.com/?p=1022 here]].
* FiveTokenBand
* {{Flanderization}}: All of the girls' quirks suffered this to some degree with the ghost writers, most notably Kristy's bossiness, Dawn's passion for environmental causes and Claudia's bad spelling.
* FoodPorn: Especially prominent in Dawn and Claudia books.
* FourGirlEnsemble: Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia and Stacey in the first four books.
* FrozenInTime: The girls spent literally dozens of birthdays, holidays and summers in eighth grade. At one point Claudia was demoted to seventh grade, but the others stayed in place. They finally finished middle school in the last book of the ''Friends Forever'' spinoff.
* FullNameBasis: [[WiseBeyondTheirYears Gabbie Perkins]] refers to everybody by their first and last names.
* FunetikAksent: Used for Jessi's ballet teacher, who is French.
** Also Logan's southern accent, the Hobarts' Australian accent, and any allergy speak.
** And in the Super Special where they go to camp, and one girl has a pronounced lisp.
* GenkiGirl: Abby, Karen
* GirlPosse: Grace and Bebe for Cokie Mason, Jannie and Leslie for Pamela Harding.
* TheGloriousWarOfSisterlyRivalry: Claudia and Janine; Marilyn and Carolyn Arnold; Dawn and Mary Anne exhibit signs of this in the early days of their stepsisterhood.
* GoshdangItToHeck: Liberal use of "darn" and "heck" in place of actual swearing.
* GranolaGirl: Dawn
* HairOfGold: Stacey and Dawn
* HaveAGayOldTime: In one of the 2010 reissues, "thongs" was changed to "flip-flops", for obvious reasons.
* HerCodeNameWasMarySue: Mallory writes a play that makes her look ideal. Her family? Not so much.
* IAmNotPretty: Mallory sees herself as this.
* InformedAbility: Claudia is supposed to be a great artist, but since the books don't have any illustrations, we're not given much evidence.
* InformedAttribute: Dawn is supposed to be the "individual" of the group, but she changes her appearance and behavior not once, but twice - just to get a guy.
* InformedJudaism: Abby
* JerkAss: Kristy's dad is portrayed this way in the ''Forever Friends'' book where he remarries, and even moreso in TheMovie. It's also hinted at in ''Claudia's Book'', where she notes that as a little girl she seriously disliked Mr. Thomas.
* JuniorHigh
* KidDetective: There was an entire spinoff ''Mystery'' series based on this trope.
* KidsAreCruel: The classmates of the baby-sitting charges (especially Charlotte's classmates), though this is existent in the BSC's classmates as well, especially in Mallory and Jessi's sixth grade class.
** Some of the charges have this too - though mostly they're of the prank-playing kind. One of Claudia's charges once played a prank where she didn't tell Claudia that the chain of a swing was broken, thinking it'd just break under Claudia's weight when she sat on it. Instead, it held, the kid forgot to warn her, and the chain finally broke mid-swing, leading to [[GoneHorriblyRight Claudia breaking her leg so severely, she had to stay in the hospital with the leg in traction.]] The rest of the book switched between Claudia recovering and the club joining forces with some of their other charges to get the kid to stop playing pranks.
* TheKlutz: Jackie Rodowsky, AKA "The Walking Disaster"
* LawOfDisproportionateResponse: The Club had Andrew, who was pretending to be a monster, terrify the life out of one charge because she didn't want to wear a smock and paint.
** Jessi accused one kid of being racist because the kid didn't want to play.
* LighterAndSofter: The ''Little Sister'' series. ''The Kids In Ms. Colman's Class'' was even lighter and softer than that.
* LittlestCancerPatient: In ''Jessi's Wish''. Other books had children with deafness, Down's Syndrome and autism. In one of the Super Specials, Stacey befriended a wheelchair-bound boy who was about to have surgery for a heart condition. May extend to Stacey herself, who was diabetic. In another book a babysitting charge has to adjust to blindness.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: Many, many minor and background characters who changed with every book.
* LongLostUncleAesop: Several times.
** In the [[VerySpecialEpisode Very Special Book]] that warned against drunk driving, a new character is introduced as one of the nicest, friendliest girls at SMS. [[SacrificialLamb She is killed almost immediately]] in a drunk-driving accident.
** In ''Jessi and the Awful Secret'', we meet a new character, a girl in Jessi's ballet class, who is then revealed to be anorexic.
** New, never-before-seen families ask for sitters in the books dealing with racism (''Keep Out, Claudia!'') and autism (''Kristy and the Secret of Susan'').
* LongRunningBookSeries: At ''least'' one book a month for more than ten years!
* LostWeddingRing: One book involves Stacey being accused of stealing a valuable ring. As it turns out, it was the cat's fault.
* MacGuffin: In some of the ''Mysteries'' books
* MassiveNumberedSiblings: The Pikes have eight children, including identical triplets. The Brewer-Thomases and the Barrett-[=DeWitts=] are also examples of this trope, although they are blended families.
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: Appears pretty much whenever the girls deal with something weird. They usually get a mundane explanation that covers most--but not all--of what's been going on. Particular examples would include ''The Ghost at Dawn's House'' and ''Mary Anne's Bad Luck Mystery.''
** Also, the first book in the Little Sister series, where the only undebunked evidence Karen has at the end is that she saw the lady she thinks is a witch flying on a broom... and that might have been a dream.
* MeaningfulName: This is most likely completely unintentional, but [[ButtMonkey "Mallory"]] is Norman French for "unlucky".
* MeatVersusVeggies: The Schafer-Spier family deals with this a lot.
* {{Melodrama}}: There's no other word to describe the scene in ''Boy-Crazy Stacey'' where the girls are saying goodbye. They're all going their (temporary) separate ways and the waterworks are endless. Sobbing, hugging, wailing. How long will they be apart? ''Two weeks.''
* MiddleChildSyndrome: Tiffany Kilbourne
* MissingMom: Mary Anne's mother died of cancer when she was very little. She left a letter to Mary Anne that she was to have received on her sixteenth birthday.
* MistakenAge
* MoodWhiplash: ''Claudia and the Terrible Truth'', where the VerySpecialEpisode-esque main plot (the girls finding out that two of their new charges are being abused by their father) is interspersed with the sitters helping kids preparing for a St. Patrick's Day parade.
* MostWritersAreAdults
* MultigenerationalHousehold: The Thomas-Brewers and the Kishis before Mimi's death.
* MustHaveLotsOfFreeTime: Charlie, Kristy's seventeen-year-old brother, who apparently has all the time in the world to drive Kristy, Shannon, Abby, etc. wherever they need to go.
* NaiveEverygirl: Mary Anne and, to some extent, Mallory.
* TheNamesake: The title club is sometimes the only thing its members have in common.
* NamesTheSame: Two characters are named Sabrina Bouvier - a child beauty queen that BSC meets in ''Little Miss Stoneybrook ... and Dawn'', and later a classmate at SMS.
** {{Lampshaded}} in ''Here Come the Bridesmaids!'' where the narrator acknowledges that both the [=BSC=] and the W♥KC have a regular sitting charge named Ryan [=DeWitt=], and no, they're not related.
* NewYearsResolution
* NonHumanSidekick: Several, although Mary Anne's cat Tigger is probably the most frequently showcased -- partly because Mary Anne, unlike the others, is an only child.
* NoPeriodsPeriod: It's plausible for a thirteen-year-old girl not to have started her period yet, which makes a reasonable justification for the trope, but it's decidedly less plausible that ''none'' of them would have started menstruating by that age.
** Presumably it's not mentioned because the target age range for the books was a bit younger than thirteen, and they didn't want to freak out the kids (or their parents). One has to wonder, though, how it was deemed allowable to mention bras and bra shopping.
** Kids would know what a bra is ("It's like a double-barrel slingshot!"), but it would be unlikely that their parents would have had the talk with them. Or maybe they do have periods, [[TooMuchInformation but it's just not mentioned.]]
* NotAllowedToGrowUp: The first few books show the passage of time as the original five complete seventh grade and start eighth, but once they're in eighth grade, they stay there until the last book of the series finally lets them graduate.
* OldNewBorrowedAndBlue: When Kristy's mom gets married, her underwear is her "something blue." TooMuchInformation.
* OffToBoardingSchool: [[spoiler:Mallory]], although this was actually HER decision.
* OfficialCouple: Mary Anne and Logan. Kristy and Bart are an official sort-of-couple, and Stacey's part of a few.
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: Kristy, Stacey (short for Anastasia), Jessi, Abby, and many minor characters.
* OnlySaneMan: Jessi and Mallory in some of the later books.
* PlayingPictionary: It is suggested that one say something along the lines of "What a nice picture! Can you tell me about it?" when confronted with a child's drawing, because "you don't want to say 'what a lovely elephant!' and have it turn out to be a picture of their grandmother."
* PoisonousFriend: Ashley, who encouraged Claudia to leave the club and spend more time on her artwork. Also the "bad girls" group that Stacey falls in with later in the series.
* ProtagonistCenteredMorality: In book #12, the girls get bitchy over Claudia spending time with a new friend and go as far as to short-sheet her bed, mess with her belongings, and leave her a series of nasty notes. But in the end, ''Claudia'' is the one who owes ''them'' an apology for "being a bad friend."
** The girls also viciously shun Mary Anne in another story after she commits the mortal sin of... getting a stylish new haircut. Everything's back to hunky dory by the end of the book.
* PungeonMaster: Abby
* RealMenHateSugar: In one of the books when Nicky Pike and Buddy Barrett refuse to eat cookies after having been teased for attending a "girly" sewing class.
* RetCon: Early on, Jill, a member of the We ♥ Kids Club, is established as serious and thoughtful; at one point, Dawn describes her as being like Mary Anne. In the first ''California Diaries'' book she is portrayed as very childish, which contributes to Dawn, Maggie and Sunny drifting away from her.
** The Brewer children's mother and stepfather are named as Sheila and Kendall in an early book, later retconned to Lisa and Seth when they feature more prominently in later titles.
** Similarly, Mary Anne's late mother was named Abigail in the fourth book, but later books identify her as Alma. This is also fixed in reprints.
** There was a short spinoff series where each of the girls writes an autobiography. They must have been written by different writers, because Kristy, Mary Anne, and Claudia have conflicting memories of their elementary school years (when they all knew each other).
* RhymesOnADime: Vanessa Pike
* RougeAnglesOfSatin: Claudia frequently writes like this.
* TheRival: Cokie. Also, one book featured the girls facing off against a rival babysitting club.
* SameSexTriplets: The Pike triplets
* SandInMyEyes: Kristy pulls this one in TheMovie, claiming to her mother that "I've got ''allergies''!"
* SchoolPlay: One of the specials was about the club members and babysitting charges appearing in a musical.
* SecretSanta
* ShrinkingViolet: Mary Anne; Kristy's little stepbrother Andrew is presented this way too.
** Charlotte Johanssen, DependingOnTheWriter
* SiblingYinYang: Claudia and Janine, Abby and Anna, Karen and Andrew
* SixthRanger: Dawn, Mallory, Jessi, Abby.
* SnoopingLittleKid
* {{Spinoff}}: The ''Little Sister'' and ''California Diaries'' series. ''The Kids In Ms. Colman's Class'' is a spinoff of ''LS.''
* SpoiledBrat: Jenny Prezzioso; to many fans, Karen Brewer also qualifies.
* StartMyOwn: When the [=BSC=] goes crazy testing Mallory about whether she's a good enough sitter, she and Jessi start up "Kids Incorporated."
* StrawFan: Believe it or not, one of the books deals with Mallory claiming to be the biggest fan of a fictional children's author, meeting the author and giving her a hard time about not 'writing what she knows.' Fortunately, [[ItGotBetter she learns her lesson in the end.]]
* SweetTooth: Claudia
* SwitchingPOV: And the "I" in this book refers to...
* TechnicianVersusPerformer: Kristy and Abby, with sports. In Kristy's own words, she's a sportsperson, while Abby is a natural athlete.
* TechnologyMarchesOn: A big deal is always made of Claudia having her own phone line for them to use as the Babysitter's Club number. Nowadays they'd probably all have cell phones.
* TeenGenius: Claudia's sister Janine
** Janine suffers from most TVGenius symptoms, including SesquipedalianLoquaciousness, IntelligenceEqualsIsolation, NerdGlasses, and OmnidisciplinaryScientist, and she [[ImprobablyHighIQ has an IQ of 196]].
*** Surprisingly, though, with such a high IQ all they have her do is take a few courses at the local community college.
* ThemeTwinNaming: Marilyn and Carolyn Arnold, Abigail and Anna Stevenson, Mariah and Miranda Shillaber, Terri and Tammy Barkan, Ricky and Rose Salem. Averted with the Pike triplets Adam, Byron, and Jordan.
* TokenMinority: Jessi.
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Kristy and Mary Anne, Abby and Anna, Carolyn and Marilyn Arnold
* TrueCompanions: No matter what happens, the girls are there for each other.
* {{Tuckerization}}
* TwinSwitch: Marilyn and Carolyn did this once while Mallory was babysitting.
* TwoFirstNames: Kristy Thomas; Logan, Hunter and Kerry Bruno; Marilyn and Carolyn Arnold
* VerySpecialEpisode: Several books showcased a particular social issue, including racism, hazing, eating disorders and single parenting. They did not deal with topics like illicit drugs and sexuality, and only briefly touched on alcohol, which might have been considered inappropriate for the target audience.
* ViewersAreGoldfish: The main characters got repeatedly introduced and described in every book. {{Lampshaded}} by the various snark communities as being the standard contents of chapter two.
* WhereTheresAWillTheresAStickyNote: Mimi in ''Claudia and the Sad Goodbye''.
* WeddingDay: Kristy's mother and stepfather, Mary Anne's father and Dawn's mother, Dawn's father and stepmother, two sitting clients, Kristy's father and stepmother...
* WhenYouComingHomeDad:
** Stacey's dad is a workaholic who rarely spends time with her.
** Abby's mother is like this too. Possibly justified to an extent, since she's a single parent with two teenagers to support.
** Shannon Kilbourne's father is never home, either.
** One book had a subplot in which the sitters begin taking care of two kids who are constantly forced to attend extra-curricular classes and sports activities because their parents are always at work.
* WritersCannotDoMath: The number of bedrooms in Watson's house never seems to add up. Kristy says his house has 9 bedrooms, which should mean one each for Watson and Elizabeth, Kristy, Sam, Charlie, David Michael, Karen, Andrew, Emily Michelle and Nannie. However, in another book Kristy says that each of her brothers could have a whole suite of rooms if they wanted, and occasionally they've had entire families stay over with no discussion of people moving or sharing rooms. However, possibly the "9 bedrooms" refers only to the bedrooms on the first and second floors. It's mentioned that there is a third floor and an attic that are never used ([[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial which is most certainly not because the ghost of Ben Brewer haunts them]]), so her brothers ''could'' have suites, but would have to move to the upper floors.
* WrittenSoundEffect: Ghostwriter Peter Lerangis LOVES omnomatopoeia.
* YouMeddlingKids: The basic plot of the ''Mysteries'' specials
* YoureNotMyFather: Kristy drops this one on Watson in TheMovie, after a visit with her notoriously flaky biological father.
* YourTomcatIsPregnant: Shows up in one book when Jessi pet-sits a hamster.
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