History Main / DowntonAbbey

5th Dec '12 1:15:32 PM KevinW
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[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/da1_135.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Let the rabid ship wars commence.]]

->“Is that quite fair to deprive a man of his livelihood when he’s done nothing wrong? Your mother derives some satisfaction from her work at the hospital, I think, some sense of self worth? Would you really deny the same to poor old Molesley? And when you are master here, is the butler to be dismissed? Or the footmen? How many maids or kitchen staff will be allowed to stay, or must every one be driven out? We all have different parts to play, and we must all be allowed to play them.”
-->--'''Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham'''

Set in an Edwardian country house beginning in 1912, ''Downton Abbey'' (2010-) portrays the lives of the Crawley family and the servants who work for them. Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham, has three daughters, but no sons. Since the title must be passed to a male heir only, Crawley's cousin James and James's son Patrick are the heirs presumptive. Then both James and Patrick die in the sinking of the Titanic. So what will become of the Earl's fortune? This SuccessionCrisis drives the plot of ''Downton Abbey''.

[[SpiritualSuccessor Much like]] earlier series ''[[UpstairsDownstairs Upstairs, Downstairs]]'', the drama follows both the aristocratic family who own the house and the large staff of servants who make it tick. The second series dealt with the effects of WorldWarOne on the entire household.

----
!!Provides examples of
* AlmostKiss: Sybil and Branson, many times through season 2, possibly in the last episode of season 1, too. Anna and Bates, also.
* AltarTheSpeed: Deconstructed, somewhat; [[spoiler:Daisy]] feels pressured into going through with the wedding due to [[spoiler:William's impending death,]] and subsequently feels that the whole thing was a lie - she later thinks differently after actually meeting with her father-in-law and takes his advice to advance up the career ladder for the beginning of Series 3.
* AlwaysSomeoneBetter: Mary (and to a lesser extent, Sybil) for Edith.
** It's never directly stated, but Bates is more or less this for Moseley since Molesley not only lost his chance at being employed at Downton when Bates returned but also has a crush on Anna, who is in love with Mr Bates.
* AmbiguouslyJewish: Cora was born with the very Jewish surname '[[http://wiki.name.com/en/Levinson Levinson]]'. The Chronicles of Downton Abbey [[AllThereInTheManual series companion]] reveals that her father Isidore Levinson ''was'' Jewish, but Martha is not -- Cora and Harold were therefore raised as Episcopalians.
* AnguishedDeclarationOfLove: ''Anna.'' Twice. [[spoiler:And Branson in the first episode of second season.]]
* AppealToInherentNature: Mary argues that she's inherently contrary and that it would be against her character to want to marry anyone who anyone else wanted her to marry. [[spoiler:She proves it when, after falling utterly in love with Matthew, she still turns his marriage proposal down, balking solely because marrying him would fix ''everything'' and be what everyone wanted to happen anyway.]]
* ArrangedMarriage Patrick and Mary pre-season 1
* AsYouKnow:
** The first episode when the ominous "entail" is finally explained to those not familiar with archaic inheritance laws. Robert's lawyer almost uses the exact language, "as you well know..." Yes, Lord Grantham would know about how his money, his real estate, his title, and his life's work will descend upon his death and need not have this basic information conveyed back to him.
** Similarly, Matthew is a lawyer who specializes in corporate law. Yet he has to ask ''his mother'' whether there's any legal mechanism for him to refuse to inherit the earldom.
** Also, in episodes following [[spoiler:Kamel Pamuk]]'s death, various characters will go into minor but unnecessary detail about the manner of his death, along the lines of "do you remember the sudden death of that [[spoiler:Turkish gentleman]]?" It's for the benefit of the audience, as it's not likely that any of the characters have forgotten waking up to learn that a [[spoiler:foreign ambassador]] has unexpectedly died in the night...
** In the Christmas Special, Matthew has Robert explaining the practicalities of the Servants' Ball to him, even though Matthew has been the heir of Downton for quite a few years by now and one would have expect him to have been at the ball at least once before...
*** It is possible, however, that this was Matthew's first Servants' Ball. In August of 1914, Matthew left the Village and soon thereafter went to war. Matthew's opportunities to attend the ball were limited for various reasons between the onset of the Great War and early 1920.
**** Robert states that they let the servants ball lapse when Bates was at Downton - they probably did this because he couldn't dance due to his leg.
* AssholeVictim: [[spoiler:Vera]].
* TheAtoner:
** Bates.
** [[spoiler: O'Brien]] after she causes [[spoiler:Cora's miscarriage]].
* BadassBoast: Cora's explanation for why she is not that upset over the prospect of having to sell Downton Abbey and move into a smaller house: "I'm an American: Have gun, will travel." Of course, this is something of an anachronism, as, while the phrase "Have X, will travel," was common in newspaper classified ads from the early 20th century onwards, the specific phrase "Have ''gun'', will travel," did not become popularized until the [[HaveGunWillTravel 1957 television series of that name]].
* BeAllMySinsRemembered: Bates.
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: Daisy bugs Mrs. Patmore to hire a kitchen maid for months. Just when she's [[CannotSpitItOut finally about to tell Alfred that she fancies him]], she's introduced to new kitchen maid Ivy, who he immediately starts flirting with.
* BeautyBrainsAndBrawn: The three Crawley daughters can be viewed this way, with Mary (socially accomplished, stunning and subject to numerous suitors throughout the series) as Beauty, Sybil (politically inclined and a trained nurse) as Brains, and Edith (learns to drive and works as a farm hand) as Brawn.
* BecauseYouWereNiceToMe: The reason for Thomas' seemingly out-of-the-blue [[spoiler:distraught reaction to Sybil's death.]]
* BelligerentSexualTension: Between Mary and Matthew.
* BenevolentBoss: Robert. Furthermore; ''all'' the Crawleys are rather even-handed with the staff to the point where even Lady Violet goes out of her way to pull strings for characters like William, the footman. Although she was likely trying to do a favour for Robert and Matthew rather than William and Molesley.
* BerserkButton:
** Don't let Bates catch you being mean to William or Daisy. Bates also gets his buttons pressed when his estranged wife Vera threatens to ruin the Earl's reputation, as well as the Earl's family and Anna, if he doesn't return to her.
** Don't insult William's mother in front of him.
** Robert is the most even-tempered man imaginable until [[spoiler: his [[DaddysGirl youngest daughter]] gets herself involved in political riots.]]
** Anna [[spoiler:flatly refuses to have "no proper place" in Mr Bates' life when Vera's final scheme takes effect, and orders him to marry her despite his protests. He doesn't want to drag her into his troubles, but she swears that they "will face [this crisis] as man and wife" and finally lays down the law]].
* BetaCouple: Anna/Bates and Sybil/[[spoiler:Branson]].
* BigFancyHouse: And how. The real Highclere Castle has a starring role as Downton Abbey.
* BigScrewedUpFamily: By Lady Violet's standards, certainly. For example, Rosamund - a noble lady by birth - married someone of no nobility, and Violet finds no end of chances to pick on her deceased son-in-law; Rosamund's brother, even worse, married an ''American''. With Robert having no sons, the family's best chance to keep the estate in the family name is to leave it to a third-cousin who is a perfect stranger at the start of the series.
* {{Blackmail}}:
** Thomas threatens to blackmail the Duke of Crowborough after he is rejected.
** Mr. Carson is blackmailed by an old friend threatening to reveal his embarrassing past... [[OldShame as a pier-side entertainer.]]
** Bates is forced to come back to his wife when she finds out about the Kemal Pamuk scandal. Yes, he's blackmailed with ''someone else's'' dirty secret.
** Sir Richard Carlisle also threatens Mary with revealing and publishing the Pamuk scandal, should she not toe the line and obey him.
** When O'Brien is scheming to get Thomas fired without a reference, Bates is asked to relate a simple message; "Her Ladyship's soap." That shuts her up.
* BlondeBrunetteRedhead
* BloodFromTheMouth: The farmer suffering from dropsy of the heart.
* BookEnds: Robert always seems completely unsuspecting when Telegrams of Doom drop into his hands. Granted, the first was a freak disaster; but the second comes amidst weeks if not months of building unease in the global news.
** He was a little distracted by his wife's surprise pregnancy and miscarriage.
* BreakTheCutie: Daisy. Only she [[ThePollyanna doesn't seem to notice]]. Matthew in series two. Anna during any part of her romance.
* BreakTheHaughty: Mary.
** Also Ethel.
* BritishAccents: There are a fair few examples on offer -- from RP (Robert's family and guests), Yorkshire (Alfred and Mr Mason are ''especially'' bucolic), Glaswegian (Miss Shore) and West Scots (Mrs Hughes).
* BritishBrevity: There are 7 episodes in the first series and 8 in the second and third (plus the Christmas specials).
* ButIWouldReallyEnjoyIt: [[spoiler: Robert and Jane.]]
--> [[spoiler: '''Robert:''']] I want you with every fibre of my being, but it isn't fair to you; it isn't fair to anyone.
* ButNotTooGay:
** Although the first episode showed that Thomas certainly was able to have a love-life, he's only had the faintest unrequited attractions since then. Could be due to a belief that being openly gay was almost unthinkable during the time period (though this is actually a case of RealityIsUnrealistic). Some viewers are getting antsy, with ''Vanity Fair'' asking in their Season 3 predictions "Can [Thomas] finally get a real boyfriend?"
* ButtMonkey:
** Daisy is the lowest-ranking servant and is not supposed to be seen by any of the family, although things seem to be changing toward the end of series 2; she's not really in this position at all any more by the end of the Christmas special, what with asking the Dowager Countess, of all people, for advice with [[spoiler: her feelings about marrying William before he died]].
** Edith seems to have this role within the Crawley family. Even her parents expect her to be the one "taking care of [them] in [their] old age", and are none too pleased at the prospect.
** Molesely. Poor chap keeps trying to advance his position within the Earl's household. He's valet to the heir, which means he'll almost certainly be valet to the Earl when the current Earl dies, but he keeps trying to move up ''now'', and every time he gets slapped back down, whether by the surprising return of Bates early in series two, or by his own nervous drunkenness at the end.
* CallForward: Matthew: "[I'm only going] to Coventry. It can't be that dangerous." Within twenty years or so, Coventry will have been bombed almost into non-existence by the Luftwaffe.
* CannotKeepASecret: Every time a character confesses a secret to another, chances are the person would pass it on to somebody else, or there would be a third person eavesdropping anyway. You'd think after a while nobody would bother to ask people to keep secrets any more.
* CantGetAwayWithNuthin: Mary [[spoiler:allows herself to be seduced by a charming visitor and in minutes [[OutWithABang is left with the problem of how to dispose of his body.]]]]
* CardCarryingVillain: Thomas and O'Brien. It's unclear why they do any of the things they do beyond petty jealousy and the fact that they simply like hurting other people.
** During a conversation with a blind soldier during season two, the writers all but outright have Thomas state that his evil is a mixture of FreudianExcuse and HeWhoFightsMonsters; in his case, him being a homosexual and a servant, which puts him in the position of having to work for assholes who treat him like shit rather than being in control over his own destiny.
* CastHerd: Happens often with the upstairs and downstairs characters.
* CharacterCheck: Mary and Edith discuss their apparently ongoing SiblingRivalry [[spoiler:in the wake of Sybil's death]], after spending most of the third season interacting perfectly civilly, even being friendly and supportive at times.
* ChristieTime: Starting in Series 2.
* ChristmasEpisode: One concludes Season 2.
* ClearMyName: Don't worry, Bates, Anna will save you from your own undying sense of gentlemanly decency and honour.
* ClingyJealousGirl: Edith.
* ConflictBall:
** During the latter half of Season 2, Lord Grantham is a jerk to Cora seemingly out of nowhere.
** In the series 3 opener, Robert loses his ([[ImpoverishedPatrician that is, Cora's]]) fortune at the same time as Matthew comes in to one. Does that all seem too tidy? Don't worry, Mary immediately as good as demands Matthew's money for the good of the family, and comes down with an unprecedented fit of entitled bitchiness when he explains that he feels unworthy to take it in the first place.
* ContinuityNod: A few, for example regarding changing fashions. Robert's first purchase of a tuxedo is seen (by Violet at least) as a silly dress-up game; a few years later it's a recognised fashion, though not one regarded as suitable dress for a white tie dinner.
* CoolCar: Wealthy Edwardians had some quite imposing brass-era limousines and tourers. Not all the cars should be there, though; any number of steel-radiator Ford Model Ts can be seen in the first series, a style that was first offered in 1917 (and likely not seen in great numbers in the UK until after WW1).
* CoolOldLady: Violet. "Put that in your pipe and smoke it!"
* CostumeDrama
* DancesAndBalls:
** Sybil had one. We didn't see it.
** The Servants' Ball in the Christmas Special.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Series two, due to it being set largely during WorldWarOne.
* DarkSecret: Mary, Bates, O'Brien. Mr Carson's is really more of a CrowningMomentOfFunny because no one cares about it as much as he does. More of these will probably be revealed for other characters as the show progresses.
* DashedPlotline: Each series is stretched over two or three years.
* DatingWhatDaddyHates: [[spoiler:Sybil and Branson.]]
--> [[spoiler:'''Robert:''']] "None of this is what I wanted for her." Even the "being happy" part?!
** It's also implied that [[spoiler: Branson]]'s family is not exactly thrilled with his choice of wife, either.
* DeadpanSnarker: Thomas, Miss O'Brien and the Dowager Countess.
* DeadPersonImpersonation: A badly burned Canadian soldier claims to be Patrick Crawley, who went down with the Titanic. Edith buys it, but the rest of the family believe it's this trope.
* [[spoiler:DeathByChildbirth]]: [[spoiler:Sybil, of eclampsia,]] during the third series.
* DeathByDespair: [[spoiler:Matthew]] believes that [[spoiler:Lavinia]] "died of a broken heart" after finding out that [[spoiler:he still loves Mary.]] It turns out in the third series that she wrote to her father shortly before her death, telling him of Matthews kindness and nobility, so probably not. It was just [[spoiler:the flu]].
* DeathBySex
* DeathOfTheHypotenuse: [[spoiler:Vera Bates]] and [[spoiler:Lavinia Swire]] in the second series.
* DefrostingIceQueen: Lady Mary.
* DeliberateValuesDissonance: Several examples that today are commonplace, like a woman having a lover before marriage, or inter-class marriages, are treated with utter ''horror'' by the inhabitants of Downton Abbey. Also, the notion of a lady undertaking any job harder than trying on a dress or flirting is treated with contempt, especially by the Dowager Countess.
** The idea that ''anyone'' of high station might take gainful employment rather than just manage the estate is initially disconcerting to ''all'' of the Crawleys and most of the servants, as well. Some of them gradually warm up to it, although it's still seen as somewhat odd that Matthew would continue his practice as a solicitor.
*** Note well: the problem isn't with him being a lawyer, but rather a solicitor. It wouldn't have been terribly unusual if Matthew had been a ''[[BritishCourts barrister]]'', which was one of the few professions which the gentry could take without shame--particularly because it was the best way to get into politics or the judiciary. On the other hand, solicitors, who handle the drudge work of the legal profession in England,[[note]]For instance, they provide law-related business advice; draw up contracts, articles of incorporation, deeds, and wills; settle disputes out of court; conduct legal research; and are the first contact for criminal defendants[[/note]]don't generally argue cases, and back then had little chance of advancement outside of becoming a better-known solicitor; as a result, they were viewed with a skewed eye by most upper-class English in those days.
* DenserAndWackier: Series 2. While the first series is a rather understated comedy of manners, the second is much more densely plotted and veers at several times into full blown SoapOpera. Plot lines involve [[spoiler:amnesia and mistaken identity, a suicide-murder frame-up, pregnancy of an unmarried woman, a miraculous medical recovery and a rather superfluous affair]]. (Although, to be fair, the first of those didn't really happen; the guy claiming to be [[spoiler: Patrick]] is clearly faking, and no one believes him except Edith.) Somewhat justified in that the years it covers include World War I and the Spanish flu pandemic, which brought with them a great deal more death and suffering, and social upheaval, than the residents of Downton would have been used to before the war.
* DepravedHomosexual: Thomas' encounters with [[spoiler:Pamuk and Crowborough.]] And in the third season, he's manipulated into this with [[spoiler:Jimmy, by O'Brian, who wants to punish him for not supporting Alfred.]]
* DiesWideOpen: Vera Bates.
* DinnerAndAShow: Frequently, with the "upstairs" drama often interspersed with the backstage exploits of the servants preparing the meal.
* TheDiseaseThatShallNotBeNamed: [[spoiler:Mrs Hughes has a breast cancer scare in series 3, and tries very hard to keep quiet about it to everyone but Mrs Patmore. They're willing, albeit uncomfortable, to use the C-word though -- the straightest use of the trope is when Carson tells Cora she's "ill... perhaps ''very'' ill".]]
* DisposableFiance: Both Mary and Matthew have one in series two. [[spoiler: Lavinia is [[TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth killed by Spanish flu]] whilst Richard Carlisle [[DerailingLoveInterests blackmails Mary into their engagement]] before she breaks it off with him in the Christmas special.]]
* DisposingOfABody: Not so much disposing as in getting entirely rid of it, but disposing in the sense of secretly moving it to cover up a damning situation.
* DoggedNiceGuy: William to Daisy, arguably Matthew to Lady Mary. Branson to Sybil.
* DoNotDoThisCoolThing: Classism, sexism and racism are horrible things... but damn, it must be awesome to be a male member of the British aristocracy in those days! Awesome houses, no need to work, servants to order around for your every whim with no real need to treat them as human beings or build any kind of reciprocal relationship. And throwing them the slightest bone of decency makes you look like Mother Theresa.
* DontYouDarePityMe: Bates to Anna. Ethel very nearly says this to Mrs. Hughes when the two discuss how her baby son, Charlie, should meet his paternal grandparents in a nicer place than the hovel in which she and the child were living in.
* DontSplitUsUp: Ethel's reaction when Major Bryant's parents ask her to let them adopt her baby and walk out of his life. [[spoiler:She refuses. Until Series 3, when she gives him to them]]
* DownerEnding: Why hello there [[WorldWarOne WORLD WAR ONE]]. The second series has another, with [[spoiler:the Spanish Flu]]. Series Three has an episode where [[spoiler:Sybil passes away from pre-eclampsia after childbirth]].
* DramaBombFinale: ForegoneConclusion though it might be, it doesn't get much more dramatic than the outbreak of WorldWarOne.
* DramaticIrony: Cora, Anna, and Mary carry a naked dead body from one end of the house to the other, by themselves, and without anyone noticing (except Daisy). The following day, after the body has been discovered, Lord Grantham worries about the ladies and female servants' state of mind. After all:
--> ''"We must have a care for feminine sensibilities. They are finer and more fragile than our own."''
* DrivenToSuicide:
** [[spoiler:Vera]], apparently with [[spoiler:[[DivorceRequiresDeath arsenic bought by Bates]]]], no less.
** A blinded soldier at the village hospital in Season 2, after being told he is sent away to a rehabilitation center.
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: [[spoiler:Kemal Pamuk just... dies, for no apparent reason, after spending the night with Mary.]]
* DuelingShows: Frequently compared to the revived ''UpstairsDownstairs'', though they weren't aired at the same time.
* EatingTheEyeCandy: Jimmy's first introduction to the female staff. And Thomas, who [[ShirtlessScene walks in on him dressing]]...
* EditedForSyndication: Originally aired in the UK as 7 episodes, most of which are about 45 minutes long, except for the first and the last episodes, each of which clock in at a little over an hour. When ''Downton Abbey'' first aired in the US, it was condensed into four 90-minute episodes of ''[[MasterpieceTheater Masterpiece]]'' on PBS. The U.S. DVD restores the full-length UK version.
* TheEdwardianEra: Even though Edward VII's successor George V is king during the show's setting, [[TheEdwardianEra the Edwardian era]] is generally accepted as lasting until the outbreak of World War One in 1914.
* TheEeyore: Mr. Carson.
* EndOfAnAge: The show in a nutshell, especially with Series 2 being set during WorldWarI.
* EndangeredSouffle
* EnforcedColdWar: Thomas and O'Brien v the rest of the servants.
* EnsembleCast
* EvilDuo: O'Brien and Thomas. They seemed in jeopardy of splitting up at the end of series 1, after [[spoiler: Thomas joined the army and O'Brien was atoning for causing Cora's miscarriage]], but it didn't last long. As of series 3, they've fallen out again over Thomas' mistreatment of Alfred ([[ConflictBall or something]]).
* EvilIsPetty
* EvilMatriarch: Arguably the Dowager Countess, though not so much evil as just a rich snob. The Dowager Countess is shown to have a much [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold softer side]] on occasion ([[spoiler:the flower show]]); another moment of her softer side is ([[spoiler:at the beginning of series 2 when she suggests "Tea and scones with the Dowager Countess at tuppence a slice?"]]) - surprisingly, she's NOT being sarcastic; in season three there's her sympathy for Ethel and standing up for Edith's journalism, although Robert correctly surmises she has some "Machiavellian" ulterior motive for the latter.
** She even USES the presumption she's an EvilMatriarch to her advantage in series 2, when she gives the vicar a reminder of how she took a 'personal interest' in William, and how the vicar's livelihood depends entirely on the Earl's estate, not-so-subtly implying that [[spoiler: the vicar had better revise his opinion on allowing William to marry Daisy, or else.]]
** The Dowager Countess also wins karma points when she pulls strings at high levels of the British government to get William, an enlisted soldier, transferred to Downton Abbey, which is being used as a hospital and rehab center for officers.
* EveryoneCanSeeIt
* ExactEavesdropping: Thomas hears just enough of the Countesses' discussion of Violet's search for a new maid to think they're talking about replacing O'Brien. Admittedly, it doesn't help that O'Brien herself overhears the Earl and Countess talking about ''firing her''.
* FallenPrincess: Lady Mary [[spoiler:after being seduced by Kemal Pamuk and then having to cover up his death.]]
* FancyDinner: A few show up. Matthew screws up at his first one. Also of note is when they try to hold one of these during the war and are severely affected by rationing. And as always, we see these from both the perspective of the Crawleys and the servants, in something of a subversion of the trope.
* FemmeFatale: Mary.
* FieryRedhead: Mrs Patmore and Ethel. Averted by Gwen, who has a very sweet temperament.
* FlatWhat:
** Thomas, when Bates suggests a search for the missing snuffbox [[spoiler:which Thomas had hidden in Bates' room.]]
** Anna, when Bates tells her he [[spoiler: bought the rat poison he thinks Vera used to commit suicide]].
* ForTheEvulz: Thomas and O'Brien, and they often have no identifiable motivation. And ironically, the one thing O'Brien at least thought she had a motivation for ([[spoiler:planting a bar of soap so Cora would have a miscarriage, and wouldn't fire her]]) is the only one for which she actually shows regret.
* {{Gaydar}}: Mrs Patmore has it. Daisy doesn't.
* {{Gayngst}}: Thomas.
* GenreBlind: William makes a point of asking Daisy for her picture to [[FatalFamilyPhoto take with him to the trenches]].
* GetOutOfJailFreeCard: Funny how Branson's hatred of the institution of aristocracy goes out the window when Robert offers to use the old boy network to get the police off his back.
* TheGloriousWarOfSisterlyRivalry: Between Lady Mary and Lady Edith. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in the second season, when the sisters set side their differences in order to entertain the soldiers, much to the surprise of their family:
-->'''Violet:''' Now I've seen everything.
** Referenced again in season three, [[CharacterCheck despite not having been in evidence for most of the season]], when [[spoiler:they discuss putting aside their differences in the wake of their sister's death]].
* GoldDigger: Robert married Cora for her fortune. The Duke of Crowborough is interested in marrying Mary only if she inherits the estate. Lady Edith wants to marry Matthew so she can remain at the estate and inherit in Mary's place. Lady Rosamund points out that Mary is marrying Sir Richard solely because he is rich (which [[{{Blackmail}} isn't entirely true]]). The debt-ridden Lord Hepworth wants to marry Lady Rosamund so he can buy back the estates of his childhood home.
* GoodOldFisticuffs: Thomas v William, and our Will valiantly carries the day. You half-expect Mr. Carson or some of the other staff to break into applause.
* GoodSmokingEvilSmoking: Thomas and O'Brien smoke the cigarettes of evil.
* GorgeousPeriodDress: The series' producers [[ShownTheirWork did an excellent job]] of dressing the actors and actresses portraying the upper-class characters in the elegant costumes of the last years of TheEdwardianEra, and of costuming the performers portraying the various servants in period-appropriate uniforms and outfits.
* GrandeDame: Violet.
* TheGreatestHistoryNeverTold: The Spanish flu epidemic is a main focus in the second series.
* HairOfGold: Anna, Matthew, William.
* HandicappedBadass: Bates.
* HappilyMarried: Robert and Cora. Well, series one, certainly. Series two... Not so much. Series three takes it to new levels and shatters the relationship to near enough seperation if not divorce: It's mostly Robert's fault, of course.
** Rosamund and Marmaduke, were, according to all press pack material, happily married until his death.
*** Violet and her husband, Patrick, 5th Earl of Grantham were this too. Violet gets tearful twice in Series 3 over the mention of his death, so it was a happy marriage until he died.
*** Sybil and Branson, after a few hiccups in Series 3 due to [[spoiler: Tom's actions with an arsonist group that get them kicked out of Ireland]] are VERY happily married... until, yes, you guessed it [[spoiler: Sybil dies in childbirth. There's a pattern here. See it?]]
* HasAType: Robert has been in a committed, loving relationship to his wife, Cora, for thirty years. He briefly flirts with a dalliance, but never goes beyond stolen kisses, with a housemaid who, like his wife, is a brunette with piercing blue eyes, devoted to her family.
* HeirClubForMen: None of the Earl's daughters can inherit, only his male relatives.
* HeldGaze: Bates and Anna. Matthew and Mary. Matthew and Sybil, oddly. Sybil and Branson. [[spoiler:Robert and Jane.]]
* HelloAttorney: Matthew.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: Branson and Sybil are prevented from [[spoiler: eloping when Mary and Edith, who he taught to drive, chase after them in the car.]]
* HoldingHands: [[spoiler:Sybil and Branson have a bit of a moment with this in Episode 7.]]
** And again in 2x08, [[spoiler: after Robert gives his consent to their marriage.]]
* HopelessSuitor: Poor Molesley. He's got no chance with Anna, considering how desperately she loves Mr Bates.
* HopeSpot:
** Cora [[spoiler:getting pregnant... and then losing the baby. And then finding out that it was a ''boy''.]]
** Bates and Anna's [[spoiler: engagement and subsequent happiness comes crashing down when Vera appears.]]
** [[spoiler:Edith getting married to Anthony Strallan, only for him to leave her at the altar.]]
** [[spoiler: Sybil gives birth to a healthy daughter, only to suffer a violent seizure and die.]]
* HorribleJudgeOfCharacter:
** Daisy.
** The only reason O'Brien is still around is because Cora is blind to her flaws. However, O'Brien, to her defence, has changed in Series 2 and 3, in which she is devotely loyal to Cora and then to her nephew, Alfred.
** Lord Grantham keeps giving Thomas second chances even though he knows some of the evil things he's done.
* HotMom: Cora
* ICantBelieveAGuyLikeYouWouldNoticeMe: Daisy to Thomas (who, admittedly, [[IncompatibleOrientation isn't really into her]]). GenderSwapped with Farmer Drake to Edith.
* IdiotBall: Come Season 3, its seemingly taken up residence in Robert's brain. [[spoiler:First he loses Cora's fortune in a idiotic investment. Next its revealed he's been mismanaging the estate for years. Then he refuses to consider Matthew's improvements, even though Downton could be lost again if he doesn't. Finally, he hires a useless doctor to treat Sybil, ignores Doctor Clarkson's warnings about her pregnancy and overrides everyone else's advice to have a cearean leading to his own daughters ''death''.]] Good going Rob.
* IKissYourHand: Kemal Pamuk.
* ILied: Vera Bates in series two. Karmically, the same trick is used against her by [[spoiler:Carlisle, who makes her sign an exclusivity agreement and then doesn't publish her story]].
* INeverGotAnyLetters: Bates discovers that his and Anna's have been being intercepted by the governor.
* IllTakeThatAsACompliment:
--> '''Lady Grantham:''' You are quite wonderful the way you see room for improvement wherever you look. I never knew such reforming zeal.
--> '''Mrs Crawley:''' I take that as a compliment.
--> '''Lady Grantham:''' [[BackhandedCompliment I must have said it wrong.]]
* ImpairmentShot: Matthew when he wakes up in a hospital bed in the abbey.
* ImpoverishedPatrician: In the back-story. Lord Grantham married Cora, a rich American heiress, for her money to keep the estate afloat. In series 3, they may be on their way back down.
* InadequateInheritor: At least to begin with. Matthew is the heir and is a middle-class solicitor from Manchester.
* InterClassRomance: [[spoiler:Branson and Sybil.]] And in Season 2, there's [[spoiler: Lord Grantham and Jane]] as well. And Thomas and the Duke of Crowborough in the first episode.
* IfICantHaveYou: Occupationally, O'Brien to Cora.
* ImpaledPalm: So he can be discharged, [[spoiler:Thomas]] intentionally lifts his arm out of the trenches holding a lighter and is shot through the hand.
* IncompatibleOrientation: Daisy's crush on Thomas. Becomes a LoveTriangle when Thomas decides to exploit her feelings to humiliate William, who genuinely does like Daisy.
* IronicName: Violet is ''no'' ShrinkingViolet.
* ItSeemedLikeAGoodIdeaAtTheTime
* ItsNotYouItsMyEnemies: Mr Bates to Anna. [[spoiler:She essentially tells him where he can shove it, and they get married anyway as she refuses to have no legal standing in his life, whatever happens.]]
* ItWillNeverCatchOn: "... About as likely as war breaking out." [[ForegoneConclusion And the viewership winced as one.]]
** An exchange in 1913:
--> '''Joe Burns''': Suppose they sell the estate?
--> '''Mrs. Hughes''': Suppose there’s a tidal wave. Suppose we all die of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1918_flu_pandemic the plague]]. [[WorldWarI Suppose there’s a war.]]
** Branson and the other servants are discussing politics. Branson thinks that the outbreak of war will be a good thing for dissolving class tensions. To prove this he points out the capturing of the Tsar and his family. The other staff look horrified.
--> '''Branson''' [[WrongGenreSavvy "Don't worry they won't hurt them."]]
* IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy: Repeatedly, from ''all three directions'' in the Mary/Matthew/Lavinia triangle, though of course a jumped-up commoner like Richard Carlisle wouldn't have so much decency. [[spoiler: Lavinia even dies telling Matthew that now he can be with the woman he loves]], and it's implied that in the last Ouija board scene [[spoiler: it's Lavinia guiding Matthew and Mary to be happy together]].
** Bates tries this with Anna, telling her to "find a better man". [[IWillWaitForYou She's not impressed]].
** Anthony Strallan does this with Edith, claiming that not only is he [[MayDecemberRomance too old for her]] but [[spoiler: that he couldn't let someone so young and lovely spend their life as nursemaid.]]
*** The irony is that, as Edith's parents gloomily point out, she is likely to end up this way regardless.
* IWillWaitForYou: Anna to Bates, Branson to Sybil.
* JustEatGilligan: All things considered, the household would run a lot smoother if those in charge just got rid of Thomas and O'Brien. [[spoiler: And we see this in action in early Season 2, when Thomas is fighting on the Western front... but it [[StatusQuoIsGod doesn't last]].]]
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: The Dowager fits this trope; underneath the cold exterior she '''''does''''' care, and is utterly shattered when [[spoiler: Sybil dies]]; she ends up hobbling across the hall, adjusting her veil and looking, for the '''''FIRST TIME IN THE WHOLE SERIES''''' like a devastated old woman who [[spoiler: has just lost her granddaughter]]. It's a sad sight, to see someone so powerful in tears! That's how bad things are - and you know things are bad when even the Dowager is crying!
* KarmaHoudini: Thomas.
** A bit less so after a genuinely horrendous time in the medical corps.
** O'Brien: she caused [[spoiler: Cora's miscarriage]], informed Edith about [[spoiler: Kamal Pamuk]] creating a problem that reverberates throughout Mary's life, narced on Bates creating another avenue for the [[spoiler: Pamuk]] scandal to potentially ruin Mary's life, along with hurting Bates and Anna, caused various smaller problems and NOTHING has happened to her. NOTHING!
* KilledOffForReal: [[spoiler:William. Lavinia. Vera Bates. Sybil.]]
* KindlyHousekeeper: Mrs. Hughes.
* KissingCousins: Second cousins Mary and Patrick were informally engaged, though they [[ArrangedMarriage didn't have much say in it]]; Edith was in love with Patrick. Mary and Matthew are fourth cousins.
* LadyInRed: Lady Mary.
* LastMinuteReprieve: Robert running after the car.
* LawOfInverseFertility: Ethel the housemaid.
* {{Leitmotif}}: The opening theme could be heard in several renditions of the background music.
** There are also ones for the various couples on the show, like Matthew/Mary, Sybil/Branson and Anna/Bates.
* LeftHanging: [[spoiler: Patrick Gordon]] just disappears into the night.
* LimitedWardrobe: Everyone, even the Crawleys. The Crawley women basically have only three evening dresses that they rotate through every episode.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: See picture above.
* LongingLook: Lots: Anna, Bates, Branson, Daisy, Edith, Mary, Matthew, Sybil, William.
* LoveTriangle: Quite a number. There are three {{sibling triangle}}s: Edith being in love with Mary's late arranged fiancé Patrick, Edith pining for Matthew, whose interests lie in Mary and vice versa, and Mary incorrectly thinking that Sybil has developed a small crush on Matthew after a RescueRomance. Mary was also interested in Napier until Kemal Pamuk came along. Then there's William crushing on Daisy, who's crushing on Thomas, [[IncompatibleOrientation who's gay]]. And then there's Molesley's mild interest in Anna, who's already in {{UST}}-territory with Mr. Bates. The third series has the Love Quadrilateral of Daisy -> Alfred -> Ivy -> Jimmy, with Thomas also making his own moves on the latter.
** Lampshaded by Mrs Patmore: "You know the trouble with you lot? You're all in love with the wrong people."
* MaliciousSlander:
** Miss O'Brien and Thomas slander Mr Bates on more than one occasion in an attempt to get him fired.
** Edith [[spoiler:spreads Mary's scandalous affair with Kemal Pamuk, causing Mary to lose favour with potential suitors and leaving her future and reputation in jeopardy. After learning of this, Mary screws up Edith's budding relationship with Sir Anthony.]]
** Thomas tries to stir things up by telling Molesley that O'Brien is planning to quit. It's only down to PoorCommunicationKills that the rumour gets as far as it does before being quashed, and all it achieves is to make her dislike him even more.
* ManipulativeBastard:
** Miss O'Brien, whose [[ZanyScheme schemes]] include [[spoiler:trying to get Bates fired and to expose Lady Mary's affair with Pamuk]].
** Lady Edith, who will go to any lengths to discredit Mary in order to marry Matthew and become mistress of Downton.
** Thomas tries to be one but isn't always successful.
** Kemal [[spoiler:in making it impossible for Mary to refuse his sexual advances.]]
** Vera uses [[spoiler:Lady Mary's secret to get Bates to return to her and takes him for all his [[UnexpectedInheritance inheritance]]. She even goes so far as using her [[DivorceRequiresDeath death]] to frame Bates.]]
* ManlyTears:
** Bates.
** Robert, [[spoiler:after Cora's miscarriage.]]
** Also Thomas, surprisingly, [[spoiler:after the blinded Lieutenant Courtenay commits suicide.]]
** Thomas, Branson, Robert and Carson [[spoiler:at Sybil's death]].
* MarryForLove:
** That's what the audience hopes for Mary and [[spoiler: Matthew]]. [[spoiler: TheyDo]]
** Cora reminds Robert that he didn't come to love her until they'd been married a year.
** [[spoiler: Sybil and Branson]] do this; [[spoiler: unfortunately, it all goes wrong very soon when Sybil gives birth.]]
* TheMatchmaker: The mothers: Violet, Cora and Isobel.
* MayDecemberRomance: Anna and Mr Bates; Edith and Sir Anthony. In the latter case, Sir Anthony gives this as [[spoiler: his reasoning for why Edith shouldn't marry him]].
* MeanCharacterNiceActor: The other cast members have said in interviews that Siobhan Finneran, who plays O'Brien, is "one of the nicest people you'll ever meet".
* MiddleChildSyndrome: Edith. Her parents aren't abusive or cruel towards her, but she gets constantly overlooked next to her two sisters (particularly Mary).
* ModestyBedsheet: Kemal Pamuk.
* MomentKiller: Poor Anna and Mr. Bates.
** HEY WOULD ANYONE LIKE A RIDE ON THIS HAYCART?
** Couldn't taking the trash out have waited one more minute?
** Ethel plonking down at the table effectively kills the nice talk they were having.
** Mary coming to book the motor as Branson and Sybil were having a talk about their future comes to mind.
* MoralityPet: Cora and Lang for O'Brien, Lieutenant Courtenay for Thomas.
* MrFanservice: Kemal Pamuk. In-universe, too. Turned out to be [[spoiler:a short-lived and creepy [[JerkAss jerkass]].]]
* MultigenerationalHousehold
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: O'Brien first only seems to show moderate guilt when she [[spoiler: knows that she is the direct cause of her mistress's miscarriage]], but the look of this trope is truly visible on her face when she learns that [[spoiler:Cora had never intended to get rid of her and she's now caused them exquisite pain for ''no reason whatsoever''.]]
* MyOwnPrivateIDo: [[spoiler: Sybil and Branson try to]] elope to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gretna_Green Gretna Green]], but [[spoiler:Mary and Edith chase them down and talk her out of it.]]
* NaiveNewcomer: Daisy, and to some extent, William.
* NiceHat: A lot of fine feathered hats; the Crawleys are aristocrats after all. Violet wears ''many, many, many'' goods hats. Lots and lots of them.
* NiceToTheWaiter: "Them upstairs," for the most part. Possibly borders on PoliticallyCorrectHistory. Contrast with [[NoHeroToHisValet No Hero to His Valet]].
* NinjaMaid: Anna takes to the role of [[AmateurSleuth plucky girl detective]] like a duck to water.
* NoExportForYou: An unusual example that took place within the UK. Viewers in Scotland missed out on the series when first broadcast, as the local ITV station had decided that the series was overpriced and unlikely to be a hit.
* NoHeroToHisValet: Thomas to the Duke of Crowborough, although this is more to do with the fact they've been having an affair and the Duke dumps him. Subverted with Bates and Robert.
* TheNotLoveInterest: Daisy and Mrs Patmore are inseparable, and the most important person in each other's lives (especially in Daisy's case, who is learning all her life skills from the older woman).
* NotSoStoic: Bates. Robert. Even Carson gives Mary hugs when she needs them.
* ObliviousToLove: Daisy to William. Mary appears to be oblivious to Matthew's growing interest in her in early episodes.
* OfCorsetHurts: Sybil. Bless.
* OfCorsetsSexy
* OfficialCouple: Mary and Matthew. From the start, the romance between these two characters has been one of the primary focuses of the series and the back and forth nature of their relationship has served as a major conversation topic between the rest of the characters.
* OfficerAndAGentleman: Matthew, once he enlists as a captain in the British army during World War One in season two. It is also revealed that the Earl was this too.
* OffscreenMomentOfAwesome: In the Christmas special the Crawley family play charades, whilst Richard sneers at them, telling Lady Grantham that he would never allow himself to look so foolish. His turn is next, at which point Violet says: "how soon your maxim will be tested." Unfortunately, we never get to see how he handles it.
* OldMaid :
** Mrs. Hughes is actually a spinster -- she uses "Mrs." as a courtesy title.
** This is the reason why the family wanted Mary (who begins the series in her early 20s) to be married off as quickly as possible, "before the bloom is quite gone off the rose," as the Dowager Countess puts it.
** Edith is now the one fretting over this, what with one sister engaged and one married and pregnant. [[spoiler:And now she's been left at the altar by a man twice her age. That's got to sting.]]
* OldRetainer: Mr Carson and Mrs Hughes.
* TheOner: Episode 5 of the second series has an absolutely gorgeous tracking shot showing [[spoiler: the wounded soldiers moving into Downton Abbey]]. It's only a little over a minute long, but that's quite lengthy for a 45 minute episode.
* OneSteveLimit: Skimming the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Downton_Abbey_characters full character list]] reveals a few common names (e.g. Charles, John) given to more than one character, but given the setting, most male characters are referred to by their surnames anyway. A minor exception concerning two major characters occurs when the family start addressing Branson as "Tom", which is similar to Thomas.
* OperaGloves: The various actresses wear these throughout the series in scenes where they're dressed in formal outfits, starting from episode 1 where Cora is seen putting on a pair of long black gloves while dressing for dinner. (Very much TruthInTelevision, as properly dressed men and women of the middle and upper classes were expected to wear gloves as accessories to almost everything except bathing suits and sleepwear during TheEdwardianEra.)
* OopNorth: The working-class characters tend to have local Yorkshire accents, with the middle- and upper-class characters having southern English accents.
* OrbitalKiss: [[spoiler: Mary and Matthew.]]
* OOCIsSeriousBusiness: When Thomas expresses angry solidarity with an injured William, the entire kitchen stops and stares.
* OutWithABang: [[spoiler:Pamuk.]]
* OverprotectiveDad: Robert, of course.
-->'''Robert''': [[IfYouEverDoAnythingToHurtHer If you mistreat her]], I will personally have you torn to pieces by wild dogs.
* PairTheSpares: Edith and Sir Anthony were leaning to this direction, up until Mary spoils it at the garden party. However, he reappears in the Christmas special [[spoiler:and they eventually get engaged, only for him to leave her at the altar because he thought she'd be throwing her life away.]]
* ParentalFavouritism: Poor Edith. Her mother's hard-pressed to finally choke out something about her being "helpful" as she pets and praises her other two daughters, especially Mary. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by the parents:
-->'''Robert:''' Poor old Edith, we never seem to talk about her.\\
'''Cora:''' I'm afraid Edith will be the one to care for us in our old age. \\
'''Robert:''' What a ghastly prospect.
** Carson also admits that Mary is his favourite of the three.
* {{Parody}}:
** There is an [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGXam5nv7rw internet version]] of the show, but in a dolls house. With Penguins.
** The UsefulNotes/ComicRelief skit, "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5dMlXentLw Uptown Downstairs Abbey]]".
* PetTheDog:
** Thomas will appear to an irredeemable, [[TheSociopath sociopathic]] JerkAss well on his way to passing the MoralEventHorizon; but then, occasionally, something will happen to demonstrate his humanity, or his [[FreudianExcuse Freudian]] [[ArmouredClosetGay Excuse]] will be reinforced, and he'll revert back to JerkassWoobie. Damn him.
** See episode 2.02 for a stellar example; Thomas briefly returns to Downton Abbey after what is implied to be a few years at the front, gets in a few choice insults and leaves to work in the village army hospital without appearing to have changed at all; however, while there, he becomes emotionally attached to a young lieutenant with gas blindness, reading his letters, encouraging him to keep fighting and very nearly [[ComingOutStory coming out]] to him after speaking about his own difficult past. When the soldier is due to be transferred against his will to another medical facility, Thomas goes to bat for him against the head of the hospital, and after the man's [[spoiler: suicide]] is seen sobbing uncontrollably in a store cupboard.
** O'Brien gets a few PetTheDog moments when she's the only one to really sympathise with ShellShockedVeteran Lang, as her brother went through the same thing.
* PimpedOutDress: And hats. Oh, the hats. Ladies' hats were probably more elaborate in TheEdwardianEra than in any other period before or since. The women's evening gowns are simple in line, but often very heavily decorated. Once again, spot-on; from 1909 or so on, women's dress, particularly formal gowns, moved toward very simple, classic lines reminiscent of the Empire/Regency period as opposed to the elaborate styles of the 1890's and early 1900's. Interestingly and probably not coincidentally, corsets began to fall out of style at this time, to be replace by brassier es and girdles.
* PlatonicLifePartners: Mr Carson and Mrs Hughes.
* PleaseWakeUp: [[spoiler:Cora to Sybil.]]
* PoliticallyCorrectHistory: Frequently subverted to [[WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief keep the show believable]] and [[RuleOfDrama create tension]], although generally in the form of [[IdiotOfTheWeek one or two characters representing contemporary prejudices]] and being defeated by more enlightened viewpoints. Sometimes this reflects genuine conflicts at the time, continuing the EndOfAnEra theme, but frequently the "modern" opinions are a little ''too'' modern. A case in point is the treatment of Thomas' homosexuality; only Carson, Alfred and Jimmy seem genuinely disgusted by it, while everyone else preaches tolerance or at least turning a blind eye.
-->[[spoiler:'''Lord Grantham''': I'm not asking you to abandon your beliefs, Alfred. Just to introduce a little kindness into the equation.\\
'''Alfred''': Am I not to stand up against evil?\\
'''Lord Grantham''': Evil? Thomas does not choose to be the way he is. And what harm was done, really, that his life should be destroyed for it?\\
'''Alfred''': Well--\\
'''Lord Grantham''': Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Are you without sin, Alfred? As I am certainly not.]]
* QuitYourWhining: Violet (amiably... for her) to [[spoiler: a recently jilted]] Edith who's worrying what to do with her life.
* RagsToRoyalty: Matthew Crawley goes from being a Mancunian lawyer to the heir of the Earl of Grantham and his estate. Not that he's thrilled about it at first.
* RearWindowWitness: Daisy.
* RebelliousPrincess: Though she's not ''quite'' royalty, Lady Sybil is a rebel who is interested in politics, supports women having the vote, wears bloomers, consorts with servants, and in series 2 goes so far as to -- ''shudder'' -- actually get a ''job'' as a nurse, not to mention [[spoiler:marrying the ''Irish chauffeur'', which [[DatingWhatDaddyHates her father has a hard time coming to terms with.]]]]
* RecycledInSpace :... [[http://www.theonion.com/articles/new-season-of-downton-abbey-jumps-forward-to-year,30519/ this article from the Onion hints at the idea]]
* RescueRomance: Played with after Sybil's rescue. Mary assumes that Sybil has a crush on Matthew, but it's Branson who's interested in Sybil.
* ResetButton: [[spoiler: Matthew's *ahem ahem* is making progress.]]
* {{Revenge}}: Lady Mary and Lady Edith just seem to chase each other in an endless circle of one-upmanship that increases in cruelty at every new level.
* RichBitch: Mary and Edith, usually to each other.
* RichInDollarsPoorInSense: Dowager Countess Violet has no idea what a "weekend" is. Lady Sybil has to beg Mrs. Patmore for help learning to cook, and finds that she even needs help making tea.
* RichesToRags: [[spoiler: Sybil]] is this by marrying [[spoiler: Branson]], although it's an unusual variation in that it's her choice and she welcomes her new lifestyle and claims that she is happy to be "Just [[spoiler: Mrs Branson]]".
* TheRival: Isobel Crawley to Violet Crawley. This seems less so during Series 3, as they seem fonder of each other and even decide to get a car home together.
* TheRoaringTwenties: The setting for Series 3.
* RomanticFalseLead: Lavinia, Matthew's fiancee.
* RomanticismVersusEnlightenment: A recurring theme is the polarization of the household between the more modern members who want to embrace change (notably Matthew, Sybil & Edith upstairs; Gwen, Thomas and Branson downstairs), those who would rather leave it the way it is/return to the past (Robert and Violet upstairs, Carson downstairs), and those happy to compromise (particularly [[WomenAreWiser Cora, Mrs Hughes & Mrs Patmore]]). Things start to reach a head in series 3, as Matthew and Robert are now co-owners of the estate and have wildly different ideas about how to run it.
* RuleOfThree: Used InUniverse. After the sinking of the Titanic and the death of the Turkish gentleman, Daisy is certain that something else is bound to happen. [[WorldWarOne It takes two years, but sure enough... along comes WorldWarI]], then [[spoiler: Spanish Flu, then the loss of Cora's fortune, and then, just to throw an ''EVEN BIGGER SPANNER'' in the works, Sybil dies from pre-eclampsia after childbirth...]] Maybe people should listen to Daisy more often.
* RunawayGroom: [[spoiler:Sir Anthony, albeit for selfless reasons.]]
* ScrewTheMoneyIHaveRules:
** Branson [[spoiler: turns down Robert's offer of a bribe to abandon Sybil.]]
** Ethel, [[spoiler: who refuses to give her baby to Major Bryant's wealthy parents as she believes it's better for him to grow up with a poor but loving mother.]]
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveConnections: Jane has no shame in asking Robert to influence a prestigious grammar school to award her son a place.
* SculleryMaid: Daisy.
* SecretKeeper:
** Several, regarding the Kemal Pamuk affair, but someone spills the beans.
** Mrs Patmore regarding [[spoiler:Mrs Hughes' cancer scare.]]
* SelfMadeMan: Matthew and Richard Carlisle. {{Lampshade}}d by Carlisle himself when he explains to Mary that he sees no shame in not being from "old money".
* [[HeKnowsTooMuch She Knows Too Much]]: Daisy.
* ShellShockedVeteran: Lang, the footman.
* ShipperOnDeck: Carson, Cora, Robert, The Dowager Countess, Rosamund, possibly Branson, even Isobel and Anna, [[spoiler: EVEN LAVINIA AT THE END OF HER LIFE]]...at this point, is there [[EveryoneCanSeeIt anyone who doesn't ship Mary/Matthew]]? Apparently so, for Martha Levinson isn't fond of them to begin with, but it grows on her.
** Maybe Edith. Sir Richard.
** Mary, for her part, ships Anna/Bates rather blatantly.
** Cruelly subverted/deconstructed with O'Brien in series 3. After discovering that Jimmy not only suspects that Thomas has a crush on him, but is revolted and a whisper away from reporting him to Carson, she starts encouraging Thomas that Jimmy feels the same way. This hearsay evidence [[IdiotBall is enough to convince Thomas]] to sneak into Jimmy's room half-undressed and kiss him as he sleeps.
* ShotAtDawn: The fate of [[spoiler: Mrs. Patmore's nephew, for cowardice.]]
* ShoutOut:
** Matthew remarks "[[http://boop.org/jan/justso/cat.htm I am the cat that walks by himself, and all places are alike to me]]" -- a reference to one of Creator/RudyardKipling's ''JustSoStories''.
** In the Christmas special Mary [[spoiler: compares herself and Matthew to [[Literature/TessoftheDUrbervilles Tess Durbeyfield and Angel Clare]].]]
* ShownTheirWork[=/=]TruthInTelevision:
** There was in fact a real Earl of Grantham. The title was created in 1698, but became extinct upon the Earl's death in 1754, because he had no surviving male heirs. Ironically, this also averts the trope of did not do the research, for the press pack states that the First Earl of Grantham (in the show) became earl in 1772, eighteen years later.
** Though it's played for laughs, acting was seen by many at the time to be just as disreputable a profession as Carson believes it to be.
* SiblingRivalry: Between Mary and Edith. Culminates most viciously in the end of the first series when Mary learns that Edith ruined her reputation by informing the Turkish ambassador of the circumstances of Pamuk's death, and ruins Edith's prospect of a good and happy marriage in revenge.
* SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan
* SlapSlapKiss: Matthew and Mary, holy crap.
* SleepingSingle: Averted by Robert and Cora, despite the fact that "really smart people sleep in separate rooms".
* SlutShaming: Premarital sex was just short of a crime. For women.
** Lady Mary's unfortunate dalliance with the Turk wasn't just unlucky, but very nearly a social disaster, and not merely because he died.
** From the second season, housemaid Ethel loves a man in uniform, and when caught with one is sacked without notice and without references. The gentleman has to put his pants back on. Pregnancy leaves her destitute and him... mildly inconvenienced when people try to rub his nose in it.
* SmugSnake: Thomas.
* SnowMeansLove: The moment when Matthew finally pops the question to Mary (at the end of the Christmas special) provides the image on this trope's page.
* SomeoneToRememberHimBy: [[spoiler:Baby Sybil]].
* SpiritedYoungLady: Mary and Sybil.
* SpiritualSuccessor: To ''UpstairsDownstairs'' and ''GosfordPark''. Julian Fellowes, who created both ''Downton'' and ''Gosford'', [[WordOfGod says so himself]].
* SpoiledSweet: Sybil.
* SpotOfTea: It's just the ticket for when the handsome stranger's sudden death has upset the ladies.
** [[spoiler: Oh, your [[OopsIForgotIWasMarried estranged wife]] suddenly appears to ruin any sliver of happiness you might have had. Have some tea.]]
** Sorry, you'll never [[spoiler:walk again.]] Tea?
* SpousalPrivilege: [[spoiler:Anna]] is forced onto the sidelines at Bates' trial.
* StarCrossedLovers: [[spoiler: The chauffeur Tom Branson and Lady Sybil. Subverted in that they elope in Season 2.]]
* TheStoic: Bates. Except when he [[TheWoobie cries alone in his room]]. So a StoicWoobie, really.
* StraightGay: Thomas.
* SuccessionCrisis: Two of the Earl's heirs die on the Titanic.
* SuicideNotMurder: This seems to be [[spoiler:Vera's plan, unless Bates really did snap once and for all. Thankfully, Series 3 reveals he didn't, and she killed herself.]]
* SundayEveningDramaSeries
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: Let's see, an ambitious redhead that doesn't want to stay in service but go out and make it big. Hmm. Where have we heard that before, Ethel? To be fair, Gwen's ambition ran only to being a secretary. Ethel wants to be a movie star. But, beyond that, yes, there's not much to choose between them.
* TallDarkAndBishoujo: Mary.
* TantrumThrowing: Thomas executes a furious TrashTheSet when he discovers his [[spoiler:black market goods are all but worthless.]]
* TeamMom: Anna, upstairs and down. And Mrs Hughes.
* TechnicalVirgin: When Kemal Pamuk seduces Mary, he promises her she'll still be a virgin for her husband. God only knows exactly what happens [[spoiler:before he keels over and dies in her bed]].
* ThatMakesMeFeelAngry: Bates' reaction to Downton's potential sale: "That makes me sad."
* ThereAreNoTherapists
* TheyDo: [[spoiler:Bates and Anna, Matthew and Mary, Branson and Sybil]]
* TheyReallyDoLoveEachOther:
** Used in a unique and strictly platonic sense between Thomas and O'Brien. He's attractive, young, gay and snarky; she's a plain, stern woman in her forties, and it generally seems as if their only interest in each other stems from a mutual desire to cause trouble. However, it's rather sweet when you find out that they have consistently and faithfully stayed in touch with one another during his years at the front, and she appears to genuinely worry over his welfare and displays a great deal of happiness (for her) when he returns safely from the war.
** Notably averted between Mary and Edith; in the first series the two oldest Crawley sisters genuinely loathe each other and have no [[TheyReallyDoLoveEachOther Aww, Look!]] moments to soften it.
*** They give each other begrudging well-wishes during their respective weddings.
*** Following the death of [[spoiler:Sybil after giving birth]] in the fifth episode of the third series, Edith asks if she and Mary can ever be friends. Mary responds "No. But here and now, we'll pretend." Contrast this with Violet's surprising tenderness and comfort to everyone, including Carson, and her hidden tears as she slowly walks from the foyer to the drawing room.
** The second season does give one moment, when Edith [[spoiler:tells Mary about Matthew being MIA, not out of a desire to hurt her, but because she genuinely believes Mary ought to know.]] It's not much, but it is something after how much they're been at each other's throats.
* TheyreCalledPersonalIssuesForAReason
* ThinkNothingOfIt: Matthew to Sybil.
* ThrowingOffTheDisability: [[spoiler:Matthew goes from experiencing confusing tingling feelings to becoming fully erect (what are you sniggering at?) in the course of one episode, barring the occasional HandWave that he'll need to "take things slowly".]]
** Though the way time works on this show, the space between the two episodes could have been months.
* TimeSkip: Several times at regular spaced intervals throughout. The first series begins in 1912 (sinking of the Titanic) while it ends in 1914. The second series begins two years later in 1916 and ends in 1919.
* {{Tomboy}}: Lady Sybil is less interested in ladylike pursuits than her sisters, dislikes fiddly corsets and skirts and eventually begins wearing ankle-length culottes instead of a dress.
* TonightSomeoneDies: The Spanish Flu episode, as hinted in the previous week's OnTheNext montage. Actually used ManipulativeEditing for the purpose, as the [[DeadHandShot clip of a hand falling limp onto a bed]] was an entirely innocent gesture by a perfectly recovered [[spoiler:Cora; Lavinia was the one who really died]].
* TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth: If you're a nice, sweet character in this series you ''will'' wind up dead -- [[spoiler: William, Lavinia and most recently Lady Sybil.]]
* TookALevelInKindness: O'Brien. Edith, after caring for the injured soldiers staying at Downton. Mary is also far nicer than at the start of the series.
* TrainStationGoodbye:
** In season 2 [[spoiler:between Mary and Matthew. No, she didn't run after the train, but you know she wanted to.]]
** Not much later, Mary [[spoiler:has a more sedate and business-like one with Sir Richard.]]
* TravelingAtTheSpeedOfPlot: Matthew's ability to move between Downton and the Western Front in France.
* TheUnfavourite: Edith. Even {{lampshaded}} in the Comic Relief parody when she is introduced as "Daughter Number Two".
* UniquePilotTitleSequence: The opening credits of the first episode follow the news of the ''Titanic'' sinking towards the main characters; all the other episodes use a more domestic credit sequence.
* UnresolvedSexualTension
* UnwittingPawn: Daisy.
* [[UptownGirl Upstairs Girl]]: [[spoiler:Sybil and Branson are married and expecting a child by the Christmas special.]]
* WartimeWedding: William leaves to fight in WWI and asks [[spoiler:Daisy]] to marry him when the war is over; she doesn't love him and wants to turn him down, but accepts because Mrs Patmore tells her that William should not have to go to war heartbroken. [[spoiler:He is mortally wounded in the trenches, and marries Daisy hours before his death because he wants her to have a widow's pension]].
* WebcomicTime: While the first two seasons quite explicitly take place over eight years (April 1912 to January 1920), the characters tend to act like it has been a shorter period of time, and the younger characters do not seem to have aged eight years. In particular, (nearly) eight years go by with none of the Earl's daughters getting married. At their ages, in that era, this would be a ''huge'' problem--although the war provides some excuse for the delay, it's still cause for scepticism.
* WhamEpisode: The ante-penultimate episode of series 2 - where to ''start''? [[spoiler:Richard tries to pay Anna to spy on Mary, Carson finds out and refuses to work for him; Matthew [[ThrowingOffTheDisability gets almost total use of his legs back]] over the course of about ten minutes, and Violet wastes no time in trying to set him back up with Mary; Ethel bursts in on dinner to present her lovechild to its grandparents; Bates reveals he bought the rat poison his wife killed herself with; Thomas invests all his money in a black market business and gets screwed over; Sybil elopes with Branson and her sisters chase her down and bring her back to the house]]. ''[Deep breath]''. ''Think'' that about covers it.
** Series 3, episode 5 -- [[spoiler: Sybil's death rattled viewers to the core.]]
* WhamLine: Even if you knew this was coming, the last line from the first series changes everything:
--> '''Robert''': I am sorry to announce that we are [[WorldWarOne at war with Germany.]]
* WhatTheHellHero:
** Mrs Patmore forced Daisy to pretend to be William's sweetheart as he went to war. It started with Daisy giving him a picture and ended with a deathbed marriage. Daisy got increasingly unhappy with the lie and ended up calling the cook out for it.
** When Mary walks in on Matthew and Mr. Murray discussing the management of Downton on the morning after the death of [[spoiler:her sister, Sybil]], she rather genteelly chews them out for their poor taste.
** Cora blames Robert for [[spoiler: Sybil's death]] after he makes the wrong call in a case of conflicting medical advice, and he accepts that there's some truth to this, despite Violet's attempt to comfort him.
* WhatWereYouThinking: Mary when [[spoiler: she gives in to Kemal Pamuk's seduction]]
** Sybil when [[spoiler: she goes to a dangerous political meeting where she gets injured.]]
** Ethel when she [[spoiler:gets involved with Major Bryant.]] Anna even tried to warn her.
* WillTheyOrWontThey: Mr Bates and Anna, Matthew and Mary, Branson and Sybil, [[spoiler: Robert and Jane]].
** Answers so far, in order: [[spoiler: TheyDo... if Bates ever gets out]], [[spoiler: TheyDo... though if Matthew doesn't give up Reginald Swire's money it might not last]], [[spoiler: TheyDo... until something terrible happens]], and [[spoiler: They Don't. Thank goodness for the last one]].
* WholePlotReference: The flower show conflict is pretty much a straight rerun of the Best Picture-winning 1942 film ''MrsMiniver'' (except that the old man is not killed in a German air raid the same night).
* WideEyedIdealist: Sybil and Daisy.
* WorldWarOne: The backdrop of series 2.
* YankTheDogsChain: Basically all of [[TheChewToy Molesley's]] subplots.
* YouCantFightFate: Thomas's fellow stretcher-bearer in France says words to this effect right before a German bullet goes through his head.
* YouDidntAsk: Bates. Word for word. Later, in series three, [[spoiler: Branson says this to Sybil after they have to flee Ireland when the authorities catch wind of his political involvements.]]
* YouDoNotHaveToSayAnything: Which may seem anachronistic, [[OlderThanTheyThink but in fact]] the Judges' Rules on police arrest procedure came out in 1912.
* YourCheatingHeart: Oh, Robert.
* ZanyScheme: All of Thomas' schemes to become Lord Grantham's valet, but plotting [[spoiler: to steal and then return his beloved Labrador, Isis, takes the cake.]]
----

to:

[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/da1_135.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Let the rabid ship wars commence.]]

->“Is that quite fair to deprive a man of his livelihood when he’s done nothing wrong? Your mother derives some satisfaction from her work at the hospital, I think, some sense of self worth? Would you really deny the same to poor old Molesley? And when you are master here, is the butler to be dismissed? Or the footmen? How many maids or kitchen staff will be allowed to stay, or must every one be driven out? We all have different parts to play, and we must all be allowed to play them.”
-->--'''Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham'''

Set in an Edwardian country house beginning in 1912, ''Downton Abbey'' (2010-) portrays the lives of the Crawley family and the servants who work for them. Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham, has three daughters, but no sons. Since the title must be passed to a male heir only, Crawley's cousin James and James's son Patrick are the heirs presumptive. Then both James and Patrick die in the sinking of the Titanic. So what will become of the Earl's fortune? This SuccessionCrisis drives the plot of ''Downton Abbey''.

[[SpiritualSuccessor Much like]] earlier series ''[[UpstairsDownstairs Upstairs, Downstairs]]'', the drama follows both the aristocratic family who own the house and the large staff of servants who make it tick. The second series dealt with the effects of WorldWarOne on the entire household.

----
!!Provides examples of
* AlmostKiss: Sybil and Branson, many times through season 2, possibly in the last episode of season 1, too. Anna and Bates, also.
* AltarTheSpeed: Deconstructed, somewhat; [[spoiler:Daisy]] feels pressured into going through with the wedding due to [[spoiler:William's impending death,]] and subsequently feels that the whole thing was a lie - she later thinks differently after actually meeting with her father-in-law and takes his advice to advance up the career ladder for the beginning of Series 3.
* AlwaysSomeoneBetter: Mary (and to a lesser extent, Sybil) for Edith.
** It's never directly stated, but Bates is more or less this for Moseley since Molesley not only lost his chance at being employed at Downton when Bates returned but also has a crush on Anna, who is in love with Mr Bates.
* AmbiguouslyJewish: Cora was born with the very Jewish surname '[[http://wiki.name.com/en/Levinson Levinson]]'. The Chronicles of Downton Abbey [[AllThereInTheManual series companion]] reveals that her father Isidore Levinson ''was'' Jewish, but Martha is not -- Cora and Harold were therefore raised as Episcopalians.
* AnguishedDeclarationOfLove: ''Anna.'' Twice. [[spoiler:And Branson in the first episode of second season.]]
* AppealToInherentNature: Mary argues that she's inherently contrary and that it would be against her character to want to marry anyone who anyone else wanted her to marry. [[spoiler:She proves it when, after falling utterly in love with Matthew, she still turns his marriage proposal down, balking solely because marrying him would fix ''everything'' and be what everyone wanted to happen anyway.]]
* ArrangedMarriage Patrick and Mary pre-season 1
* AsYouKnow:
** The first episode when the ominous "entail" is finally explained to those not familiar with archaic inheritance laws. Robert's lawyer almost uses the exact language, "as you well know..." Yes, Lord Grantham would know about how his money, his real estate, his title, and his life's work will descend upon his death and need not have this basic information conveyed back to him.
** Similarly, Matthew is a lawyer who specializes in corporate law. Yet he has to ask ''his mother'' whether there's any legal mechanism for him to refuse to inherit the earldom.
** Also, in episodes following [[spoiler:Kamel Pamuk]]'s death, various characters will go into minor but unnecessary detail about the manner of his death, along the lines of "do you remember the sudden death of that [[spoiler:Turkish gentleman]]?" It's for the benefit of the audience, as it's not likely that any of the characters have forgotten waking up to learn that a [[spoiler:foreign ambassador]] has unexpectedly died in the night...
** In the Christmas Special, Matthew has Robert explaining the practicalities of the Servants' Ball to him, even though Matthew has been the heir of Downton for quite a few years by now and one would have expect him to have been at the ball at least once before...
*** It is possible, however, that this was Matthew's first Servants' Ball. In August of 1914, Matthew left the Village and soon thereafter went to war. Matthew's opportunities to attend the ball were limited for various reasons between the onset of the Great War and early 1920.
**** Robert states that they let the servants ball lapse when Bates was at Downton - they probably did this because he couldn't dance due to his leg.
* AssholeVictim: [[spoiler:Vera]].
* TheAtoner:
** Bates.
** [[spoiler: O'Brien]] after she causes [[spoiler:Cora's miscarriage]].
* BadassBoast: Cora's explanation for why she is not that upset over the prospect of having to sell Downton Abbey and move into a smaller house: "I'm an American: Have gun, will travel." Of course, this is something of an anachronism, as, while the phrase "Have X, will travel," was common in newspaper classified ads from the early 20th century onwards, the specific phrase "Have ''gun'', will travel," did not become popularized until the [[HaveGunWillTravel 1957 television series of that name]].
* BeAllMySinsRemembered: Bates.
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: Daisy bugs Mrs. Patmore to hire a kitchen maid for months. Just when she's [[CannotSpitItOut finally about to tell Alfred that she fancies him]], she's introduced to new kitchen maid Ivy, who he immediately starts flirting with.
* BeautyBrainsAndBrawn: The three Crawley daughters can be viewed this way, with Mary (socially accomplished, stunning and subject to numerous suitors throughout the series) as Beauty, Sybil (politically inclined and a trained nurse) as Brains, and Edith (learns to drive and works as a farm hand) as Brawn.
* BecauseYouWereNiceToMe: The reason for Thomas' seemingly out-of-the-blue [[spoiler:distraught reaction to Sybil's death.]]
* BelligerentSexualTension: Between Mary and Matthew.
* BenevolentBoss: Robert. Furthermore; ''all'' the Crawleys are rather even-handed with the staff to the point where even Lady Violet goes out of her way to pull strings for characters like William, the footman. Although she was likely trying to do a favour for Robert and Matthew rather than William and Molesley.
* BerserkButton:
** Don't let Bates catch you being mean to William or Daisy. Bates also gets his buttons pressed when his estranged wife Vera threatens to ruin the Earl's reputation, as well as the Earl's family and Anna, if he doesn't return to her.
** Don't insult William's mother in front of him.
** Robert is the most even-tempered man imaginable until [[spoiler: his [[DaddysGirl youngest daughter]] gets herself involved in political riots.]]
** Anna [[spoiler:flatly refuses to have "no proper place" in Mr Bates' life when Vera's final scheme takes effect, and orders him to marry her despite his protests. He doesn't want to drag her into his troubles, but she swears that they "will face [this crisis] as man and wife" and finally lays down the law]].
* BetaCouple: Anna/Bates and Sybil/[[spoiler:Branson]].
* BigFancyHouse: And how. The real Highclere Castle has a starring role as Downton Abbey.
* BigScrewedUpFamily: By Lady Violet's standards, certainly. For example, Rosamund - a noble lady by birth - married someone of no nobility, and Violet finds no end of chances to pick on her deceased son-in-law; Rosamund's brother, even worse, married an ''American''. With Robert having no sons, the family's best chance to keep the estate in the family name is to leave it to a third-cousin who is a perfect stranger at the start of the series.
* {{Blackmail}}:
** Thomas threatens to blackmail the Duke of Crowborough after he is rejected.
** Mr. Carson is blackmailed by an old friend threatening to reveal his embarrassing past... [[OldShame as a pier-side entertainer.]]
** Bates is forced to come back to his wife when she finds out about the Kemal Pamuk scandal. Yes, he's blackmailed with ''someone else's'' dirty secret.
** Sir Richard Carlisle also threatens Mary with revealing and publishing the Pamuk scandal, should she not toe the line and obey him.
** When O'Brien is scheming to get Thomas fired without a reference, Bates is asked to relate a simple message; "Her Ladyship's soap." That shuts her up.
* BlondeBrunetteRedhead
* BloodFromTheMouth: The farmer suffering from dropsy of the heart.
* BookEnds: Robert always seems completely unsuspecting when Telegrams of Doom drop into his hands. Granted, the first was a freak disaster; but the second comes amidst weeks if not months of building unease in the global news.
** He was a little distracted by his wife's surprise pregnancy and miscarriage.
* BreakTheCutie: Daisy. Only she [[ThePollyanna doesn't seem to notice]]. Matthew in series two. Anna during any part of her romance.
* BreakTheHaughty: Mary.
** Also Ethel.
* BritishAccents: There are a fair few examples on offer -- from RP (Robert's family and guests), Yorkshire (Alfred and Mr Mason are ''especially'' bucolic), Glaswegian (Miss Shore) and West Scots (Mrs Hughes).
* BritishBrevity: There are 7 episodes in the first series and 8 in the second and third (plus the Christmas specials).
* ButIWouldReallyEnjoyIt: [[spoiler: Robert and Jane.]]
--> [[spoiler: '''Robert:''']] I want you with every fibre of my being, but it isn't fair to you; it isn't fair to anyone.
* ButNotTooGay:
** Although the first episode showed that Thomas certainly was able to have a love-life, he's only had the faintest unrequited attractions since then. Could be due to a belief that being openly gay was almost unthinkable during the time period (though this is actually a case of RealityIsUnrealistic). Some viewers are getting antsy, with ''Vanity Fair'' asking in their Season 3 predictions "Can [Thomas] finally get a real boyfriend?"
* ButtMonkey:
** Daisy is the lowest-ranking servant and is not supposed to be seen by any of the family, although things seem to be changing toward the end of series 2; she's not really in this position at all any more by the end of the Christmas special, what with asking the Dowager Countess, of all people, for advice with [[spoiler: her feelings about marrying William before he died]].
** Edith seems to have this role within the Crawley family. Even her parents expect her to be the one "taking care of [them] in [their] old age", and are none too pleased at the prospect.
** Molesely. Poor chap keeps trying to advance his position within the Earl's household. He's valet to the heir, which means he'll almost certainly be valet to the Earl when the current Earl dies, but he keeps trying to move up ''now'', and every time he gets slapped back down, whether by the surprising return of Bates early in series two, or by his own nervous drunkenness at the end.
* CallForward: Matthew: "[I'm only going] to Coventry. It can't be that dangerous." Within twenty years or so, Coventry will have been bombed almost into non-existence by the Luftwaffe.
* CannotKeepASecret: Every time a character confesses a secret to another, chances are the person would pass it on to somebody else, or there would be a third person eavesdropping anyway. You'd think after a while nobody would bother to ask people to keep secrets any more.
* CantGetAwayWithNuthin: Mary [[spoiler:allows herself to be seduced by a charming visitor and in minutes [[OutWithABang is left with the problem of how to dispose of his body.]]]]
* CardCarryingVillain: Thomas and O'Brien. It's unclear why they do any of the things they do beyond petty jealousy and the fact that they simply like hurting other people.
** During a conversation with a blind soldier during season two, the writers all but outright have Thomas state that his evil is a mixture of FreudianExcuse and HeWhoFightsMonsters; in his case, him being a homosexual and a servant, which puts him in the position of having to work for assholes who treat him like shit rather than being in control over his own destiny.
* CastHerd: Happens often with the upstairs and downstairs characters.
* CharacterCheck: Mary and Edith discuss their apparently ongoing SiblingRivalry [[spoiler:in the wake of Sybil's death]], after spending most of the third season interacting perfectly civilly, even being friendly and supportive at times.
* ChristieTime: Starting in Series 2.
* ChristmasEpisode: One concludes Season 2.
* ClearMyName: Don't worry, Bates, Anna will save you from your own undying sense of gentlemanly decency and honour.
* ClingyJealousGirl: Edith.
* ConflictBall:
** During the latter half of Season 2, Lord Grantham is a jerk to Cora seemingly out of nowhere.
** In the series 3 opener, Robert loses his ([[ImpoverishedPatrician that is, Cora's]]) fortune at the same time as Matthew comes in to one. Does that all seem too tidy? Don't worry, Mary immediately as good as demands Matthew's money for the good of the family, and comes down with an unprecedented fit of entitled bitchiness when he explains that he feels unworthy to take it in the first place.
* ContinuityNod: A few, for example regarding changing fashions. Robert's first purchase of a tuxedo is seen (by Violet at least) as a silly dress-up game; a few years later it's a recognised fashion, though not one regarded as suitable dress for a white tie dinner.
* CoolCar: Wealthy Edwardians had some quite imposing brass-era limousines and tourers. Not all the cars should be there, though; any number of steel-radiator Ford Model Ts can be seen in the first series, a style that was first offered in 1917 (and likely not seen in great numbers in the UK until after WW1).
* CoolOldLady: Violet. "Put that in your pipe and smoke it!"
* CostumeDrama
* DancesAndBalls:
** Sybil had one. We didn't see it.
** The Servants' Ball in the Christmas Special.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Series two, due to it being set largely during WorldWarOne.
* DarkSecret: Mary, Bates, O'Brien. Mr Carson's is really more of a CrowningMomentOfFunny because no one cares about it as much as he does. More of these will probably be revealed for other characters as the show progresses.
* DashedPlotline: Each series is stretched over two or three years.
* DatingWhatDaddyHates: [[spoiler:Sybil and Branson.]]
--> [[spoiler:'''Robert:''']] "None of this is what I wanted for her." Even the "being happy" part?!
** It's also implied that [[spoiler: Branson]]'s family is not exactly thrilled with his choice of wife, either.
* DeadpanSnarker: Thomas, Miss O'Brien and the Dowager Countess.
* DeadPersonImpersonation: A badly burned Canadian soldier claims to be Patrick Crawley, who went down with the Titanic. Edith buys it, but the rest of the family believe it's this trope.
* [[spoiler:DeathByChildbirth]]: [[spoiler:Sybil, of eclampsia,]] during the third series.
* DeathByDespair: [[spoiler:Matthew]] believes that [[spoiler:Lavinia]] "died of a broken heart" after finding out that [[spoiler:he still loves Mary.]] It turns out in the third series that she wrote to her father shortly before her death, telling him of Matthews kindness and nobility, so probably not. It was just [[spoiler:the flu]].
* DeathBySex
* DeathOfTheHypotenuse: [[spoiler:Vera Bates]] and [[spoiler:Lavinia Swire]] in the second series.
* DefrostingIceQueen: Lady Mary.
* DeliberateValuesDissonance: Several examples that today are commonplace, like a woman having a lover before marriage, or inter-class marriages, are treated with utter ''horror'' by the inhabitants of Downton Abbey. Also, the notion of a lady undertaking any job harder than trying on a dress or flirting is treated with contempt, especially by the Dowager Countess.
** The idea that ''anyone'' of high station might take gainful employment rather than just manage the estate is initially disconcerting to ''all'' of the Crawleys and most of the servants, as well. Some of them gradually warm up to it, although it's still seen as somewhat odd that Matthew would continue his practice as a solicitor.
*** Note well: the problem isn't with him being a lawyer, but rather a solicitor. It wouldn't have been terribly unusual if Matthew had been a ''[[BritishCourts barrister]]'', which was one of the few professions which the gentry could take without shame--particularly because it was the best way to get into politics or the judiciary. On the other hand, solicitors, who handle the drudge work of the legal profession in England,[[note]]For instance, they provide law-related business advice; draw up contracts, articles of incorporation, deeds, and wills; settle disputes out of court; conduct legal research; and are the first contact for criminal defendants[[/note]]don't generally argue cases, and back then had little chance of advancement outside of becoming a better-known solicitor; as a result, they were viewed with a skewed eye by most upper-class English in those days.
* DenserAndWackier: Series 2. While the first series is a rather understated comedy of manners, the second is much more densely plotted and veers at several times into full blown SoapOpera. Plot lines involve [[spoiler:amnesia and mistaken identity, a suicide-murder frame-up, pregnancy of an unmarried woman, a miraculous medical recovery and a rather superfluous affair]]. (Although, to be fair, the first of those didn't really happen; the guy claiming to be [[spoiler: Patrick]] is clearly faking, and no one believes him except Edith.) Somewhat justified in that the years it covers include World War I and the Spanish flu pandemic, which brought with them a great deal more death and suffering, and social upheaval, than the residents of Downton would have been used to before the war.
* DepravedHomosexual: Thomas' encounters with [[spoiler:Pamuk and Crowborough.]] And in the third season, he's manipulated into this with [[spoiler:Jimmy, by O'Brian, who wants to punish him for not supporting Alfred.]]
* DiesWideOpen: Vera Bates.
* DinnerAndAShow: Frequently, with the "upstairs" drama often interspersed with the backstage exploits of the servants preparing the meal.
* TheDiseaseThatShallNotBeNamed: [[spoiler:Mrs Hughes has a breast cancer scare in series 3, and tries very hard to keep quiet about it to everyone but Mrs Patmore. They're willing, albeit uncomfortable, to use the C-word though -- the straightest use of the trope is when Carson tells Cora she's "ill... perhaps ''very'' ill".]]
* DisposableFiance: Both Mary and Matthew have one in series two. [[spoiler: Lavinia is [[TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth killed by Spanish flu]] whilst Richard Carlisle [[DerailingLoveInterests blackmails Mary into their engagement]] before she breaks it off with him in the Christmas special.]]
* DisposingOfABody: Not so much disposing as in getting entirely rid of it, but disposing in the sense of secretly moving it to cover up a damning situation.
* DoggedNiceGuy: William to Daisy, arguably Matthew to Lady Mary. Branson to Sybil.
* DoNotDoThisCoolThing: Classism, sexism and racism are horrible things... but damn, it must be awesome to be a male member of the British aristocracy in those days! Awesome houses, no need to work, servants to order around for your every whim with no real need to treat them as human beings or build any kind of reciprocal relationship. And throwing them the slightest bone of decency makes you look like Mother Theresa.
* DontYouDarePityMe: Bates to Anna. Ethel very nearly says this to Mrs. Hughes when the two discuss how her baby son, Charlie, should meet his paternal grandparents in a nicer place than the hovel in which she and the child were living in.
* DontSplitUsUp: Ethel's reaction when Major Bryant's parents ask her to let them adopt her baby and walk out of his life. [[spoiler:She refuses. Until Series 3, when she gives him to them]]
* DownerEnding: Why hello there [[WorldWarOne WORLD WAR ONE]]. The second series has another, with [[spoiler:the Spanish Flu]]. Series Three has an episode where [[spoiler:Sybil passes away from pre-eclampsia after childbirth]].
* DramaBombFinale: ForegoneConclusion though it might be, it doesn't get much more dramatic than the outbreak of WorldWarOne.
* DramaticIrony: Cora, Anna, and Mary carry a naked dead body from one end of the house to the other, by themselves, and without anyone noticing (except Daisy). The following day, after the body has been discovered, Lord Grantham worries about the ladies and female servants' state of mind. After all:
--> ''"We must have a care for feminine sensibilities. They are finer and more fragile than our own."''
* DrivenToSuicide:
** [[spoiler:Vera]], apparently with [[spoiler:[[DivorceRequiresDeath arsenic bought by Bates]]]], no less.
** A blinded soldier at the village hospital in Season 2, after being told he is sent away to a rehabilitation center.
* DroppedABridgeOnHim: [[spoiler:Kemal Pamuk just... dies, for no apparent reason, after spending the night with Mary.]]
* DuelingShows: Frequently compared to the revived ''UpstairsDownstairs'', though they weren't aired at the same time.
* EatingTheEyeCandy: Jimmy's first introduction to the female staff. And Thomas, who [[ShirtlessScene walks in on him dressing]]...
* EditedForSyndication: Originally aired in the UK as 7 episodes, most of which are about 45 minutes long, except for the first and the last episodes, each of which clock in at a little over an hour. When ''Downton Abbey'' first aired in the US, it was condensed into four 90-minute episodes of ''[[MasterpieceTheater Masterpiece]]'' on PBS. The U.S. DVD restores the full-length UK version.
* TheEdwardianEra: Even though Edward VII's successor George V is king during the show's setting, [[TheEdwardianEra the Edwardian era]] is generally accepted as lasting until the outbreak of World War One in 1914.
* TheEeyore: Mr. Carson.
* EndOfAnAge: The show in a nutshell, especially with Series 2 being set during WorldWarI.
* EndangeredSouffle
* EnforcedColdWar: Thomas and O'Brien v the rest of the servants.
* EnsembleCast
* EvilDuo: O'Brien and Thomas. They seemed in jeopardy of splitting up at the end of series 1, after [[spoiler: Thomas joined the army and O'Brien was atoning for causing Cora's miscarriage]], but it didn't last long. As of series 3, they've fallen out again over Thomas' mistreatment of Alfred ([[ConflictBall or something]]).
* EvilIsPetty
* EvilMatriarch: Arguably the Dowager Countess, though not so much evil as just a rich snob. The Dowager Countess is shown to have a much [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold softer side]] on occasion ([[spoiler:the flower show]]); another moment of her softer side is ([[spoiler:at the beginning of series 2 when she suggests "Tea and scones with the Dowager Countess at tuppence a slice?"]]) - surprisingly, she's NOT being sarcastic; in season three there's her sympathy for Ethel and standing up for Edith's journalism, although Robert correctly surmises she has some "Machiavellian" ulterior motive for the latter.
** She even USES the presumption she's an EvilMatriarch to her advantage in series 2, when she gives the vicar a reminder of how she took a 'personal interest' in William, and how the vicar's livelihood depends entirely on the Earl's estate, not-so-subtly implying that [[spoiler: the vicar had better revise his opinion on allowing William to marry Daisy, or else.]]
** The Dowager Countess also wins karma points when she pulls strings at high levels of the British government to get William, an enlisted soldier, transferred to Downton Abbey, which is being used as a hospital and rehab center for officers.
* EveryoneCanSeeIt
* ExactEavesdropping: Thomas hears just enough of the Countesses' discussion of Violet's search for a new maid to think they're talking about replacing O'Brien. Admittedly, it doesn't help that O'Brien herself overhears the Earl and Countess talking about ''firing her''.
* FallenPrincess: Lady Mary [[spoiler:after being seduced by Kemal Pamuk and then having to cover up his death.]]
* FancyDinner: A few show up. Matthew screws up at his first one. Also of note is when they try to hold one of these during the war and are severely affected by rationing. And as always, we see these from both the perspective of the Crawleys and the servants, in something of a subversion of the trope.
* FemmeFatale: Mary.
* FieryRedhead: Mrs Patmore and Ethel. Averted by Gwen, who has a very sweet temperament.
* FlatWhat:
** Thomas, when Bates suggests a search for the missing snuffbox [[spoiler:which Thomas had hidden in Bates' room.]]
** Anna, when Bates tells her he [[spoiler: bought the rat poison he thinks Vera used to commit suicide]].
* ForTheEvulz: Thomas and O'Brien, and they often have no identifiable motivation. And ironically, the one thing O'Brien at least thought she had a motivation for ([[spoiler:planting a bar of soap so Cora would have a miscarriage, and wouldn't fire her]]) is the only one for which she actually shows regret.
* {{Gaydar}}: Mrs Patmore has it. Daisy doesn't.
* {{Gayngst}}: Thomas.
* GenreBlind: William makes a point of asking Daisy for her picture to [[FatalFamilyPhoto take with him to the trenches]].
* GetOutOfJailFreeCard: Funny how Branson's hatred of the institution of aristocracy goes out the window when Robert offers to use the old boy network to get the police off his back.
* TheGloriousWarOfSisterlyRivalry: Between Lady Mary and Lady Edith. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in the second season, when the sisters set side their differences in order to entertain the soldiers, much to the surprise of their family:
-->'''Violet:''' Now I've seen everything.
** Referenced again in season three, [[CharacterCheck despite not having been in evidence for most of the season]], when [[spoiler:they discuss putting aside their differences in the wake of their sister's death]].
* GoldDigger: Robert married Cora for her fortune. The Duke of Crowborough is interested in marrying Mary only if she inherits the estate. Lady Edith wants to marry Matthew so she can remain at the estate and inherit in Mary's place. Lady Rosamund points out that Mary is marrying Sir Richard solely because he is rich (which [[{{Blackmail}} isn't entirely true]]). The debt-ridden Lord Hepworth wants to marry Lady Rosamund so he can buy back the estates of his childhood home.
* GoodOldFisticuffs: Thomas v William, and our Will valiantly carries the day. You half-expect Mr. Carson or some of the other staff to break into applause.
* GoodSmokingEvilSmoking: Thomas and O'Brien smoke the cigarettes of evil.
* GorgeousPeriodDress: The series' producers [[ShownTheirWork did an excellent job]] of dressing the actors and actresses portraying the upper-class characters in the elegant costumes of the last years of TheEdwardianEra, and of costuming the performers portraying the various servants in period-appropriate uniforms and outfits.
* GrandeDame: Violet.
* TheGreatestHistoryNeverTold: The Spanish flu epidemic is a main focus in the second series.
* HairOfGold: Anna, Matthew, William.
* HandicappedBadass: Bates.
* HappilyMarried: Robert and Cora. Well, series one, certainly. Series two... Not so much. Series three takes it to new levels and shatters the relationship to near enough seperation if not divorce: It's mostly Robert's fault, of course.
** Rosamund and Marmaduke, were, according to all press pack material, happily married until his death.
*** Violet and her husband, Patrick, 5th Earl of Grantham were this too. Violet gets tearful twice in Series 3 over the mention of his death, so it was a happy marriage until he died.
*** Sybil and Branson, after a few hiccups in Series 3 due to [[spoiler: Tom's actions with an arsonist group that get them kicked out of Ireland]] are VERY happily married... until, yes, you guessed it [[spoiler: Sybil dies in childbirth. There's a pattern here. See it?]]
* HasAType: Robert has been in a committed, loving relationship to his wife, Cora, for thirty years. He briefly flirts with a dalliance, but never goes beyond stolen kisses, with a housemaid who, like his wife, is a brunette with piercing blue eyes, devoted to her family.
* HeirClubForMen: None of the Earl's daughters can inherit, only his male relatives.
* HeldGaze: Bates and Anna. Matthew and Mary. Matthew and Sybil, oddly. Sybil and Branson. [[spoiler:Robert and Jane.]]
* HelloAttorney: Matthew.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: Branson and Sybil are prevented from [[spoiler: eloping when Mary and Edith, who he taught to drive, chase after them in the car.]]
* HoldingHands: [[spoiler:Sybil and Branson have a bit of a moment with this in Episode 7.]]
** And again in 2x08, [[spoiler: after Robert gives his consent to their marriage.]]
* HopelessSuitor: Poor Molesley. He's got no chance with Anna, considering how desperately she loves Mr Bates.
* HopeSpot:
** Cora [[spoiler:getting pregnant... and then losing the baby. And then finding out that it was a ''boy''.]]
** Bates and Anna's [[spoiler: engagement and subsequent happiness comes crashing down when Vera appears.]]
** [[spoiler:Edith getting married to Anthony Strallan, only for him to leave her at the altar.]]
** [[spoiler: Sybil gives birth to a healthy daughter, only to suffer a violent seizure and die.]]
* HorribleJudgeOfCharacter:
** Daisy.
** The only reason O'Brien is still around is because Cora is blind to her flaws. However, O'Brien, to her defence, has changed in Series 2 and 3, in which she is devotely loyal to Cora and then to her nephew, Alfred.
** Lord Grantham keeps giving Thomas second chances even though he knows some of the evil things he's done.
* HotMom: Cora
* ICantBelieveAGuyLikeYouWouldNoticeMe: Daisy to Thomas (who, admittedly, [[IncompatibleOrientation isn't really into her]]). GenderSwapped with Farmer Drake to Edith.
* IdiotBall: Come Season 3, its seemingly taken up residence in Robert's brain. [[spoiler:First he loses Cora's fortune in a idiotic investment. Next its revealed he's been mismanaging the estate for years. Then he refuses to consider Matthew's improvements, even though Downton could be lost again if he doesn't. Finally, he hires a useless doctor to treat Sybil, ignores Doctor Clarkson's warnings about her pregnancy and overrides everyone else's advice to have a cearean leading to his own daughters ''death''.]] Good going Rob.
* IKissYourHand: Kemal Pamuk.
* ILied: Vera Bates in series two. Karmically, the same trick is used against her by [[spoiler:Carlisle, who makes her sign an exclusivity agreement and then doesn't publish her story]].
* INeverGotAnyLetters: Bates discovers that his and Anna's have been being intercepted by the governor.
* IllTakeThatAsACompliment:
--> '''Lady Grantham:''' You are quite wonderful the way you see room for improvement wherever you look. I never knew such reforming zeal.
--> '''Mrs Crawley:''' I take that as a compliment.
--> '''Lady Grantham:''' [[BackhandedCompliment I must have said it wrong.]]
* ImpairmentShot: Matthew when he wakes up in a hospital bed in the abbey.
* ImpoverishedPatrician: In the back-story. Lord Grantham married Cora, a rich American heiress, for her money to keep the estate afloat. In series 3, they may be on their way back down.
* InadequateInheritor: At least to begin with. Matthew is the heir and is a middle-class solicitor from Manchester.
* InterClassRomance: [[spoiler:Branson and Sybil.]] And in Season 2, there's [[spoiler: Lord Grantham and Jane]] as well. And Thomas and the Duke of Crowborough in the first episode.
* IfICantHaveYou: Occupationally, O'Brien to Cora.
* ImpaledPalm: So he can be discharged, [[spoiler:Thomas]] intentionally lifts his arm out of the trenches holding a lighter and is shot through the hand.
* IncompatibleOrientation: Daisy's crush on Thomas. Becomes a LoveTriangle when Thomas decides to exploit her feelings to humiliate William, who genuinely does like Daisy.
* IronicName: Violet is ''no'' ShrinkingViolet.
* ItSeemedLikeAGoodIdeaAtTheTime
* ItsNotYouItsMyEnemies: Mr Bates to Anna. [[spoiler:She essentially tells him where he can shove it, and they get married anyway as she refuses to have no legal standing in his life, whatever happens.]]
* ItWillNeverCatchOn: "... About as likely as war breaking out." [[ForegoneConclusion And the viewership winced as one.]]
** An exchange in 1913:
--> '''Joe Burns''': Suppose they sell the estate?
--> '''Mrs. Hughes''': Suppose there’s a tidal wave. Suppose we all die of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1918_flu_pandemic the plague]]. [[WorldWarI Suppose there’s a war.]]
** Branson and the other servants are discussing politics. Branson thinks that the outbreak of war will be a good thing for dissolving class tensions. To prove this he points out the capturing of the Tsar and his family. The other staff look horrified.
--> '''Branson''' [[WrongGenreSavvy "Don't worry they won't hurt them."]]
* IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy: Repeatedly, from ''all three directions'' in the Mary/Matthew/Lavinia triangle, though of course a jumped-up commoner like Richard Carlisle wouldn't have so much decency. [[spoiler: Lavinia even dies telling Matthew that now he can be with the woman he loves]], and it's implied that in the last Ouija board scene [[spoiler: it's Lavinia guiding Matthew and Mary to be happy together]].
** Bates tries this with Anna, telling her to "find a better man". [[IWillWaitForYou She's not impressed]].
** Anthony Strallan does this with Edith, claiming that not only is he [[MayDecemberRomance too old for her]] but [[spoiler: that he couldn't let someone so young and lovely spend their life as nursemaid.]]
*** The irony is that, as Edith's parents gloomily point out, she is likely to end up this way regardless.
* IWillWaitForYou: Anna to Bates, Branson to Sybil.
* JustEatGilligan: All things considered, the household would run a lot smoother if those in charge just got rid of Thomas and O'Brien. [[spoiler: And we see this in action in early Season 2, when Thomas is fighting on the Western front... but it [[StatusQuoIsGod doesn't last]].]]
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: The Dowager fits this trope; underneath the cold exterior she '''''does''''' care, and is utterly shattered when [[spoiler: Sybil dies]]; she ends up hobbling across the hall, adjusting her veil and looking, for the '''''FIRST TIME IN THE WHOLE SERIES''''' like a devastated old woman who [[spoiler: has just lost her granddaughter]]. It's a sad sight, to see someone so powerful in tears! That's how bad things are - and you know things are bad when even the Dowager is crying!
* KarmaHoudini: Thomas.
** A bit less so after a genuinely horrendous time in the medical corps.
** O'Brien: she caused [[spoiler: Cora's miscarriage]], informed Edith about [[spoiler: Kamal Pamuk]] creating a problem that reverberates throughout Mary's life, narced on Bates creating another avenue for the [[spoiler: Pamuk]] scandal to potentially ruin Mary's life, along with hurting Bates and Anna, caused various smaller problems and NOTHING has happened to her. NOTHING!
* KilledOffForReal: [[spoiler:William. Lavinia. Vera Bates. Sybil.]]
* KindlyHousekeeper: Mrs. Hughes.
* KissingCousins: Second cousins Mary and Patrick were informally engaged, though they [[ArrangedMarriage didn't have much say in it]]; Edith was in love with Patrick. Mary and Matthew are fourth cousins.
* LadyInRed: Lady Mary.
* LastMinuteReprieve: Robert running after the car.
* LawOfInverseFertility: Ethel the housemaid.
* {{Leitmotif}}: The opening theme could be heard in several renditions of the background music.
** There are also ones for the various couples on the show, like Matthew/Mary, Sybil/Branson and Anna/Bates.
* LeftHanging: [[spoiler: Patrick Gordon]] just disappears into the night.
* LimitedWardrobe: Everyone, even the Crawleys. The Crawley women basically have only three evening dresses that they rotate through every episode.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: See picture above.
* LongingLook: Lots: Anna, Bates, Branson, Daisy, Edith, Mary, Matthew, Sybil, William.
* LoveTriangle: Quite a number. There are three {{sibling triangle}}s: Edith being in love with Mary's late arranged fiancé Patrick, Edith pining for Matthew, whose interests lie in Mary and vice versa, and Mary incorrectly thinking that Sybil has developed a small crush on Matthew after a RescueRomance. Mary was also interested in Napier until Kemal Pamuk came along. Then there's William crushing on Daisy, who's crushing on Thomas, [[IncompatibleOrientation who's gay]]. And then there's Molesley's mild interest in Anna, who's already in {{UST}}-territory with Mr. Bates. The third series has the Love Quadrilateral of Daisy -> Alfred -> Ivy -> Jimmy, with Thomas also making his own moves on the latter.
** Lampshaded by Mrs Patmore: "You know the trouble with you lot? You're all in love with the wrong people."
* MaliciousSlander:
** Miss O'Brien and Thomas slander Mr Bates on more than one occasion in an attempt to get him fired.
** Edith [[spoiler:spreads Mary's scandalous affair with Kemal Pamuk, causing Mary to lose favour with potential suitors and leaving her future and reputation in jeopardy. After learning of this, Mary screws up Edith's budding relationship with Sir Anthony.]]
** Thomas tries to stir things up by telling Molesley that O'Brien is planning to quit. It's only down to PoorCommunicationKills that the rumour gets as far as it does before being quashed, and all it achieves is to make her dislike him even more.
* ManipulativeBastard:
** Miss O'Brien, whose [[ZanyScheme schemes]] include [[spoiler:trying to get Bates fired and to expose Lady Mary's affair with Pamuk]].
** Lady Edith, who will go to any lengths to discredit Mary in order to marry Matthew and become mistress of Downton.
** Thomas tries to be one but isn't always successful.
** Kemal [[spoiler:in making it impossible for Mary to refuse his sexual advances.]]
** Vera uses [[spoiler:Lady Mary's secret to get Bates to return to her and takes him for all his [[UnexpectedInheritance inheritance]]. She even goes so far as using her [[DivorceRequiresDeath death]] to frame Bates.]]
* ManlyTears:
** Bates.
** Robert, [[spoiler:after Cora's miscarriage.]]
** Also Thomas, surprisingly, [[spoiler:after the blinded Lieutenant Courtenay commits suicide.]]
** Thomas, Branson, Robert and Carson [[spoiler:at Sybil's death]].
* MarryForLove:
** That's what the audience hopes for Mary and [[spoiler: Matthew]]. [[spoiler: TheyDo]]
** Cora reminds Robert that he didn't come to love her until they'd been married a year.
** [[spoiler: Sybil and Branson]] do this; [[spoiler: unfortunately, it all goes wrong very soon when Sybil gives birth.]]
* TheMatchmaker: The mothers: Violet, Cora and Isobel.
* MayDecemberRomance: Anna and Mr Bates; Edith and Sir Anthony. In the latter case, Sir Anthony gives this as [[spoiler: his reasoning for why Edith shouldn't marry him]].
* MeanCharacterNiceActor: The other cast members have said in interviews that Siobhan Finneran, who plays O'Brien, is "one of the nicest people you'll ever meet".
* MiddleChildSyndrome: Edith. Her parents aren't abusive or cruel towards her, but she gets constantly overlooked next to her two sisters (particularly Mary).
* ModestyBedsheet: Kemal Pamuk.
* MomentKiller: Poor Anna and Mr. Bates.
** HEY WOULD ANYONE LIKE A RIDE ON THIS HAYCART?
** Couldn't taking the trash out have waited one more minute?
** Ethel plonking down at the table effectively kills the nice talk they were having.
** Mary coming to book the motor as Branson and Sybil were having a talk about their future comes to mind.
* MoralityPet: Cora and Lang for O'Brien, Lieutenant Courtenay for Thomas.
* MrFanservice: Kemal Pamuk. In-universe, too. Turned out to be [[spoiler:a short-lived and creepy [[JerkAss jerkass]].]]
* MultigenerationalHousehold
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: O'Brien first only seems to show moderate guilt when she [[spoiler: knows that she is the direct cause of her mistress's miscarriage]], but the look of this trope is truly visible on her face when she learns that [[spoiler:Cora had never intended to get rid of her and she's now caused them exquisite pain for ''no reason whatsoever''.]]
* MyOwnPrivateIDo: [[spoiler: Sybil and Branson try to]] elope to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gretna_Green Gretna Green]], but [[spoiler:Mary and Edith chase them down and talk her out of it.]]
* NaiveNewcomer: Daisy, and to some extent, William.
* NiceHat: A lot of fine feathered hats; the Crawleys are aristocrats after all. Violet wears ''many, many, many'' goods hats. Lots and lots of them.
* NiceToTheWaiter: "Them upstairs," for the most part. Possibly borders on PoliticallyCorrectHistory. Contrast with [[NoHeroToHisValet No Hero to His Valet]].
* NinjaMaid: Anna takes to the role of [[AmateurSleuth plucky girl detective]] like a duck to water.
* NoExportForYou: An unusual example that took place within the UK. Viewers in Scotland missed out on the series when first broadcast, as the local ITV station had decided that the series was overpriced and unlikely to be a hit.
* NoHeroToHisValet: Thomas to the Duke of Crowborough, although this is more to do with the fact they've been having an affair and the Duke dumps him. Subverted with Bates and Robert.
* TheNotLoveInterest: Daisy and Mrs Patmore are inseparable, and the most important person in each other's lives (especially in Daisy's case, who is learning all her life skills from the older woman).
* NotSoStoic: Bates. Robert. Even Carson gives Mary hugs when she needs them.
* ObliviousToLove: Daisy to William. Mary appears to be oblivious to Matthew's growing interest in her in early episodes.
* OfCorsetHurts: Sybil. Bless.
* OfCorsetsSexy
* OfficialCouple: Mary and Matthew. From the start, the romance between these two characters has been one of the primary focuses of the series and the back and forth nature of their relationship has served as a major conversation topic between the rest of the characters.
* OfficerAndAGentleman: Matthew, once he enlists as a captain in the British army during World War One in season two. It is also revealed that the Earl was this too.
* OffscreenMomentOfAwesome: In the Christmas special the Crawley family play charades, whilst Richard sneers at them, telling Lady Grantham that he would never allow himself to look so foolish. His turn is next, at which point Violet says: "how soon your maxim will be tested." Unfortunately, we never get to see how he handles it.
* OldMaid :
** Mrs. Hughes is actually a spinster -- she uses "Mrs." as a courtesy title.
** This is the reason why the family wanted Mary (who begins the series in her early 20s) to be married off as quickly as possible, "before the bloom is quite gone off the rose," as the Dowager Countess puts it.
** Edith is now the one fretting over this, what with one sister engaged and one married and pregnant. [[spoiler:And now she's been left at the altar by a man twice her age. That's got to sting.]]
* OldRetainer: Mr Carson and Mrs Hughes.
* TheOner: Episode 5 of the second series has an absolutely gorgeous tracking shot showing [[spoiler: the wounded soldiers moving into Downton Abbey]]. It's only a little over a minute long, but that's quite lengthy for a 45 minute episode.
* OneSteveLimit: Skimming the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Downton_Abbey_characters full character list]] reveals a few common names (e.g. Charles, John) given to more than one character, but given the setting, most male characters are referred to by their surnames anyway. A minor exception concerning two major characters occurs when the family start addressing Branson as "Tom", which is similar to Thomas.
* OperaGloves: The various actresses wear these throughout the series in scenes where they're dressed in formal outfits, starting from episode 1 where Cora is seen putting on a pair of long black gloves while dressing for dinner. (Very much TruthInTelevision, as properly dressed men and women of the middle and upper classes were expected to wear gloves as accessories to almost everything except bathing suits and sleepwear during TheEdwardianEra.)
* OopNorth: The working-class characters tend to have local Yorkshire accents, with the middle- and upper-class characters having southern English accents.
* OrbitalKiss: [[spoiler: Mary and Matthew.]]
* OOCIsSeriousBusiness: When Thomas expresses angry solidarity with an injured William, the entire kitchen stops and stares.
* OutWithABang: [[spoiler:Pamuk.]]
* OverprotectiveDad: Robert, of course.
-->'''Robert''': [[IfYouEverDoAnythingToHurtHer If you mistreat her]], I will personally have you torn to pieces by wild dogs.
* PairTheSpares: Edith and Sir Anthony were leaning to this direction, up until Mary spoils it at the garden party. However, he reappears in the Christmas special [[spoiler:and they eventually get engaged, only for him to leave her at the altar because he thought she'd be throwing her life away.]]
* ParentalFavouritism: Poor Edith. Her mother's hard-pressed to finally choke out something about her being "helpful" as she pets and praises her other two daughters, especially Mary. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by the parents:
-->'''Robert:''' Poor old Edith, we never seem to talk about her.\\
'''Cora:''' I'm afraid Edith will be the one to care for us in our old age. \\
'''Robert:''' What a ghastly prospect.
** Carson also admits that Mary is his favourite of the three.
* {{Parody}}:
** There is an [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGXam5nv7rw internet version]] of the show, but in a dolls house. With Penguins.
** The UsefulNotes/ComicRelief skit, "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5dMlXentLw Uptown Downstairs Abbey]]".
* PetTheDog:
** Thomas will appear to an irredeemable, [[TheSociopath sociopathic]] JerkAss well on his way to passing the MoralEventHorizon; but then, occasionally, something will happen to demonstrate his humanity, or his [[FreudianExcuse Freudian]] [[ArmouredClosetGay Excuse]] will be reinforced, and he'll revert back to JerkassWoobie. Damn him.
** See episode 2.02 for a stellar example; Thomas briefly returns to Downton Abbey after what is implied to be a few years at the front, gets in a few choice insults and leaves to work in the village army hospital without appearing to have changed at all; however, while there, he becomes emotionally attached to a young lieutenant with gas blindness, reading his letters, encouraging him to keep fighting and very nearly [[ComingOutStory coming out]] to him after speaking about his own difficult past. When the soldier is due to be transferred against his will to another medical facility, Thomas goes to bat for him against the head of the hospital, and after the man's [[spoiler: suicide]] is seen sobbing uncontrollably in a store cupboard.
** O'Brien gets a few PetTheDog moments when she's the only one to really sympathise with ShellShockedVeteran Lang, as her brother went through the same thing.
* PimpedOutDress: And hats. Oh, the hats. Ladies' hats were probably more elaborate in TheEdwardianEra than in any other period before or since. The women's evening gowns are simple in line, but often very heavily decorated. Once again, spot-on; from 1909 or so on, women's dress, particularly formal gowns, moved toward very simple, classic lines reminiscent of the Empire/Regency period as opposed to the elaborate styles of the 1890's and early 1900's. Interestingly and probably not coincidentally, corsets began to fall out of style at this time, to be replace by brassier es and girdles.
* PlatonicLifePartners: Mr Carson and Mrs Hughes.
* PleaseWakeUp: [[spoiler:Cora to Sybil.]]
* PoliticallyCorrectHistory: Frequently subverted to [[WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief keep the show believable]] and [[RuleOfDrama create tension]], although generally in the form of [[IdiotOfTheWeek one or two characters representing contemporary prejudices]] and being defeated by more enlightened viewpoints. Sometimes this reflects genuine conflicts at the time, continuing the EndOfAnEra theme, but frequently the "modern" opinions are a little ''too'' modern. A case in point is the treatment of Thomas' homosexuality; only Carson, Alfred and Jimmy seem genuinely disgusted by it, while everyone else preaches tolerance or at least turning a blind eye.
-->[[spoiler:'''Lord Grantham''': I'm not asking you to abandon your beliefs, Alfred. Just to introduce a little kindness into the equation.\\
'''Alfred''': Am I not to stand up against evil?\\
'''Lord Grantham''': Evil? Thomas does not choose to be the way he is. And what harm was done, really, that his life should be destroyed for it?\\
'''Alfred''': Well--\\
'''Lord Grantham''': Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Are you without sin, Alfred? As I am certainly not.]]
* QuitYourWhining: Violet (amiably... for her) to [[spoiler: a recently jilted]] Edith who's worrying what to do with her life.
* RagsToRoyalty: Matthew Crawley goes from being a Mancunian lawyer to the heir of the Earl of Grantham and his estate. Not that he's thrilled about it at first.
* RearWindowWitness: Daisy.
* RebelliousPrincess: Though she's not ''quite'' royalty, Lady Sybil is a rebel who is interested in politics, supports women having the vote, wears bloomers, consorts with servants, and in series 2 goes so far as to -- ''shudder'' -- actually get a ''job'' as a nurse, not to mention [[spoiler:marrying the ''Irish chauffeur'', which [[DatingWhatDaddyHates her father has a hard time coming to terms with.]]]]
* RecycledInSpace :... [[http://www.theonion.com/articles/new-season-of-downton-abbey-jumps-forward-to-year,30519/ this article from the Onion hints at the idea]]
* RescueRomance: Played with after Sybil's rescue. Mary assumes that Sybil has a crush on Matthew, but it's Branson who's interested in Sybil.
* ResetButton: [[spoiler: Matthew's *ahem ahem* is making progress.]]
* {{Revenge}}: Lady Mary and Lady Edith just seem to chase each other in an endless circle of one-upmanship that increases in cruelty at every new level.
* RichBitch: Mary and Edith, usually to each other.
* RichInDollarsPoorInSense: Dowager Countess Violet has no idea what a "weekend" is. Lady Sybil has to beg Mrs. Patmore for help learning to cook, and finds that she even needs help making tea.
* RichesToRags: [[spoiler: Sybil]] is this by marrying [[spoiler: Branson]], although it's an unusual variation in that it's her choice and she welcomes her new lifestyle and claims that she is happy to be "Just [[spoiler: Mrs Branson]]".
* TheRival: Isobel Crawley to Violet Crawley. This seems less so during Series 3, as they seem fonder of each other and even decide to get a car home together.
* TheRoaringTwenties: The setting for Series 3.
* RomanticFalseLead: Lavinia, Matthew's fiancee.
* RomanticismVersusEnlightenment: A recurring theme is the polarization of the household between the more modern members who want to embrace change (notably Matthew, Sybil & Edith upstairs; Gwen, Thomas and Branson downstairs), those who would rather leave it the way it is/return to the past (Robert and Violet upstairs, Carson downstairs), and those happy to compromise (particularly [[WomenAreWiser Cora, Mrs Hughes & Mrs Patmore]]). Things start to reach a head in series 3, as Matthew and Robert are now co-owners of the estate and have wildly different ideas about how to run it.
* RuleOfThree: Used InUniverse. After the sinking of the Titanic and the death of the Turkish gentleman, Daisy is certain that something else is bound to happen. [[WorldWarOne It takes two years, but sure enough... along comes WorldWarI]], then [[spoiler: Spanish Flu, then the loss of Cora's fortune, and then, just to throw an ''EVEN BIGGER SPANNER'' in the works, Sybil dies from pre-eclampsia after childbirth...]] Maybe people should listen to Daisy more often.
* RunawayGroom: [[spoiler:Sir Anthony, albeit for selfless reasons.]]
* ScrewTheMoneyIHaveRules:
** Branson [[spoiler: turns down Robert's offer of a bribe to abandon Sybil.]]
** Ethel, [[spoiler: who refuses to give her baby to Major Bryant's wealthy parents as she believes it's better for him to grow up with a poor but loving mother.]]
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveConnections: Jane has no shame in asking Robert to influence a prestigious grammar school to award her son a place.
* SculleryMaid: Daisy.
* SecretKeeper:
** Several, regarding the Kemal Pamuk affair, but someone spills the beans.
** Mrs Patmore regarding [[spoiler:Mrs Hughes' cancer scare.]]
* SelfMadeMan: Matthew and Richard Carlisle. {{Lampshade}}d by Carlisle himself when he explains to Mary that he sees no shame in not being from "old money".
* [[HeKnowsTooMuch She Knows Too Much]]: Daisy.
* ShellShockedVeteran: Lang, the footman.
* ShipperOnDeck: Carson, Cora, Robert, The Dowager Countess, Rosamund, possibly Branson, even Isobel and Anna, [[spoiler: EVEN LAVINIA AT THE END OF HER LIFE]]...at this point, is there [[EveryoneCanSeeIt anyone who doesn't ship Mary/Matthew]]? Apparently so, for Martha Levinson isn't fond of them to begin with, but it grows on her.
** Maybe Edith. Sir Richard.
** Mary, for her part, ships Anna/Bates rather blatantly.
** Cruelly subverted/deconstructed with O'Brien in series 3. After discovering that Jimmy not only suspects that Thomas has a crush on him, but is revolted and a whisper away from reporting him to Carson, she starts encouraging Thomas that Jimmy feels the same way. This hearsay evidence [[IdiotBall is enough to convince Thomas]] to sneak into Jimmy's room half-undressed and kiss him as he sleeps.
* ShotAtDawn: The fate of [[spoiler: Mrs. Patmore's nephew, for cowardice.]]
* ShoutOut:
** Matthew remarks "[[http://boop.org/jan/justso/cat.htm I am the cat that walks by himself, and all places are alike to me]]" -- a reference to one of Creator/RudyardKipling's ''JustSoStories''.
** In the Christmas special Mary [[spoiler: compares herself and Matthew to [[Literature/TessoftheDUrbervilles Tess Durbeyfield and Angel Clare]].]]
* ShownTheirWork[=/=]TruthInTelevision:
** There was in fact a real Earl of Grantham. The title was created in 1698, but became extinct upon the Earl's death in 1754, because he had no surviving male heirs. Ironically, this also averts the trope of did not do the research, for the press pack states that the First Earl of Grantham (in the show) became earl in 1772, eighteen years later.
** Though it's played for laughs, acting was seen by many at the time to be just as disreputable a profession as Carson believes it to be.
* SiblingRivalry: Between Mary and Edith. Culminates most viciously in the end of the first series when Mary learns that Edith ruined her reputation by informing the Turkish ambassador of the circumstances of Pamuk's death, and ruins Edith's prospect of a good and happy marriage in revenge.
* SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan
* SlapSlapKiss: Matthew and Mary, holy crap.
* SleepingSingle: Averted by Robert and Cora, despite the fact that "really smart people sleep in separate rooms".
* SlutShaming: Premarital sex was just short of a crime. For women.
** Lady Mary's unfortunate dalliance with the Turk wasn't just unlucky, but very nearly a social disaster, and not merely because he died.
** From the second season, housemaid Ethel loves a man in uniform, and when caught with one is sacked without notice and without references. The gentleman has to put his pants back on. Pregnancy leaves her destitute and him... mildly inconvenienced when people try to rub his nose in it.
* SmugSnake: Thomas.
* SnowMeansLove: The moment when Matthew finally pops the question to Mary (at the end of the Christmas special) provides the image on this trope's page.
* SomeoneToRememberHimBy: [[spoiler:Baby Sybil]].
* SpiritedYoungLady: Mary and Sybil.
* SpiritualSuccessor: To ''UpstairsDownstairs'' and ''GosfordPark''. Julian Fellowes, who created both ''Downton'' and ''Gosford'', [[WordOfGod says so himself]].
* SpoiledSweet: Sybil.
* SpotOfTea: It's just the ticket for when the handsome stranger's sudden death has upset the ladies.
** [[spoiler: Oh, your [[OopsIForgotIWasMarried estranged wife]] suddenly appears to ruin any sliver of happiness you might have had. Have some tea.]]
** Sorry, you'll never [[spoiler:walk again.]] Tea?
* SpousalPrivilege: [[spoiler:Anna]] is forced onto the sidelines at Bates' trial.
* StarCrossedLovers: [[spoiler: The chauffeur Tom Branson and Lady Sybil. Subverted in that they elope in Season 2.]]
* TheStoic: Bates. Except when he [[TheWoobie cries alone in his room]]. So a StoicWoobie, really.
* StraightGay: Thomas.
* SuccessionCrisis: Two of the Earl's heirs die on the Titanic.
* SuicideNotMurder: This seems to be [[spoiler:Vera's plan, unless Bates really did snap once and for all. Thankfully, Series 3 reveals he didn't, and she killed herself.]]
* SundayEveningDramaSeries
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: Let's see, an ambitious redhead that doesn't want to stay in service but go out and make it big. Hmm. Where have we heard that before, Ethel? To be fair, Gwen's ambition ran only to being a secretary. Ethel wants to be a movie star. But, beyond that, yes, there's not much to choose between them.
* TallDarkAndBishoujo: Mary.
* TantrumThrowing: Thomas executes a furious TrashTheSet when he discovers his [[spoiler:black market goods are all but worthless.]]
* TeamMom: Anna, upstairs and down. And Mrs Hughes.
* TechnicalVirgin: When Kemal Pamuk seduces Mary, he promises her she'll still be a virgin for her husband. God only knows exactly what happens [[spoiler:before he keels over and dies in her bed]].
* ThatMakesMeFeelAngry: Bates' reaction to Downton's potential sale: "That makes me sad."
* ThereAreNoTherapists
* TheyDo: [[spoiler:Bates and Anna, Matthew and Mary, Branson and Sybil]]
* TheyReallyDoLoveEachOther:
** Used in a unique and strictly platonic sense between Thomas and O'Brien. He's attractive, young, gay and snarky; she's a plain, stern woman in her forties, and it generally seems as if their only interest in each other stems from a mutual desire to cause trouble. However, it's rather sweet when you find out that they have consistently and faithfully stayed in touch with one another during his years at the front, and she appears to genuinely worry over his welfare and displays a great deal of happiness (for her) when he returns safely from the war.
** Notably averted between Mary and Edith; in the first series the two oldest Crawley sisters genuinely loathe each other and have no [[TheyReallyDoLoveEachOther Aww, Look!]] moments to soften it.
*** They give each other begrudging well-wishes during their respective weddings.
*** Following the death of [[spoiler:Sybil after giving birth]] in the fifth episode of the third series, Edith asks if she and Mary can ever be friends. Mary responds "No. But here and now, we'll pretend." Contrast this with Violet's surprising tenderness and comfort to everyone, including Carson, and her hidden tears as she slowly walks from the foyer to the drawing room.
** The second season does give one moment, when Edith [[spoiler:tells Mary about Matthew being MIA, not out of a desire to hurt her, but because she genuinely believes Mary ought to know.]] It's not much, but it is something after how much they're been at each other's throats.
* TheyreCalledPersonalIssuesForAReason
* ThinkNothingOfIt: Matthew to Sybil.
* ThrowingOffTheDisability: [[spoiler:Matthew goes from experiencing confusing tingling feelings to becoming fully erect (what are you sniggering at?) in the course of one episode, barring the occasional HandWave that he'll need to "take things slowly".]]
** Though the way time works on this show, the space between the two episodes could have been months.
* TimeSkip: Several times at regular spaced intervals throughout. The first series begins in 1912 (sinking of the Titanic) while it ends in 1914. The second series begins two years later in 1916 and ends in 1919.
* {{Tomboy}}: Lady Sybil is less interested in ladylike pursuits than her sisters, dislikes fiddly corsets and skirts and eventually begins wearing ankle-length culottes instead of a dress.
* TonightSomeoneDies: The Spanish Flu episode, as hinted in the previous week's OnTheNext montage. Actually used ManipulativeEditing for the purpose, as the [[DeadHandShot clip of a hand falling limp onto a bed]] was an entirely innocent gesture by a perfectly recovered [[spoiler:Cora; Lavinia was the one who really died]].
* TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth: If you're a nice, sweet character in this series you ''will'' wind up dead -- [[spoiler: William, Lavinia and most recently Lady Sybil.]]
* TookALevelInKindness: O'Brien. Edith, after caring for the injured soldiers staying at Downton. Mary is also far nicer than at the start of the series.
* TrainStationGoodbye:
** In season 2 [[spoiler:between Mary and Matthew. No, she didn't run after the train, but you know she wanted to.]]
** Not much later, Mary [[spoiler:has a more sedate and business-like one with Sir Richard.]]
* TravelingAtTheSpeedOfPlot: Matthew's ability to move between Downton and the Western Front in France.
* TheUnfavourite: Edith. Even {{lampshaded}} in the Comic Relief parody when she is introduced as "Daughter Number Two".
* UniquePilotTitleSequence: The opening credits of the first episode follow the news of the ''Titanic'' sinking towards the main characters; all the other episodes use a more domestic credit sequence.
* UnresolvedSexualTension
* UnwittingPawn: Daisy.
* [[UptownGirl Upstairs Girl]]: [[spoiler:Sybil and Branson are married and expecting a child by the Christmas special.]]
* WartimeWedding: William leaves to fight in WWI and asks [[spoiler:Daisy]] to marry him when the war is over; she doesn't love him and wants to turn him down, but accepts because Mrs Patmore tells her that William should not have to go to war heartbroken. [[spoiler:He is mortally wounded in the trenches, and marries Daisy hours before his death because he wants her to have a widow's pension]].
* WebcomicTime: While the first two seasons quite explicitly take place over eight years (April 1912 to January 1920), the characters tend to act like it has been a shorter period of time, and the younger characters do not seem to have aged eight years. In particular, (nearly) eight years go by with none of the Earl's daughters getting married. At their ages, in that era, this would be a ''huge'' problem--although the war provides some excuse for the delay, it's still cause for scepticism.
* WhamEpisode: The ante-penultimate episode of series 2 - where to ''start''? [[spoiler:Richard tries to pay Anna to spy on Mary, Carson finds out and refuses to work for him; Matthew [[ThrowingOffTheDisability gets almost total use of his legs back]] over the course of about ten minutes, and Violet wastes no time in trying to set him back up with Mary; Ethel bursts in on dinner to present her lovechild to its grandparents; Bates reveals he bought the rat poison his wife killed herself with; Thomas invests all his money in a black market business and gets screwed over; Sybil elopes with Branson and her sisters chase her down and bring her back to the house]]. ''[Deep breath]''. ''Think'' that about covers it.
** Series 3, episode 5 -- [[spoiler: Sybil's death rattled viewers to the core.]]
* WhamLine: Even if you knew this was coming, the last line from the first series changes everything:
--> '''Robert''': I am sorry to announce that we are [[WorldWarOne at war with Germany.]]
* WhatTheHellHero:
** Mrs Patmore forced Daisy to pretend to be William's sweetheart as he went to war. It started with Daisy giving him a picture and ended with a deathbed marriage. Daisy got increasingly unhappy with the lie and ended up calling the cook out for it.
** When Mary walks in on Matthew and Mr. Murray discussing the management of Downton on the morning after the death of [[spoiler:her sister, Sybil]], she rather genteelly chews them out for their poor taste.
** Cora blames Robert for [[spoiler: Sybil's death]] after he makes the wrong call in a case of conflicting medical advice, and he accepts that there's some truth to this, despite Violet's attempt to comfort him.
* WhatWereYouThinking: Mary when [[spoiler: she gives in to Kemal Pamuk's seduction]]
** Sybil when [[spoiler: she goes to a dangerous political meeting where she gets injured.]]
** Ethel when she [[spoiler:gets involved with Major Bryant.]] Anna even tried to warn her.
* WillTheyOrWontThey: Mr Bates and Anna, Matthew and Mary, Branson and Sybil, [[spoiler: Robert and Jane]].
** Answers so far, in order: [[spoiler: TheyDo... if Bates ever gets out]], [[spoiler: TheyDo... though if Matthew doesn't give up Reginald Swire's money it might not last]], [[spoiler: TheyDo... until something terrible happens]], and [[spoiler: They Don't. Thank goodness for the last one]].
* WholePlotReference: The flower show conflict is pretty much a straight rerun of the Best Picture-winning 1942 film ''MrsMiniver'' (except that the old man is not killed in a German air raid the same night).
* WideEyedIdealist: Sybil and Daisy.
* WorldWarOne: The backdrop of series 2.
* YankTheDogsChain: Basically all of [[TheChewToy Molesley's]] subplots.
* YouCantFightFate: Thomas's fellow stretcher-bearer in France says words to this effect right before a German bullet goes through his head.
* YouDidntAsk: Bates. Word for word. Later, in series three, [[spoiler: Branson says this to Sybil after they have to flee Ireland when the authorities catch wind of his political involvements.]]
* YouDoNotHaveToSayAnything: Which may seem anachronistic, [[OlderThanTheyThink but in fact]] the Judges' Rules on police arrest procedure came out in 1912.
* YourCheatingHeart: Oh, Robert.
* ZanyScheme: All of Thomas' schemes to become Lord Grantham's valet, but plotting [[spoiler: to steal and then return his beloved Labrador, Isis, takes the cake.]]
----
[[redirect:Series/DowntonAbbey]]
5th Dec '12 7:26:43 AM GhostOfAGeek
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'''Cora:''' I'm afraid Edith will be the one to care for us in our old age.

to:

'''Cora:''' I'm afraid Edith will be the one to care for us in our old age. \\
'''Robert:''' What a ghastly prospect.



-->'''Robert:''' What a ghastly prospect.
5th Dec '12 7:23:27 AM GhostOfAGeek
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'''Cora:''' I'm afraid Edith will be the one to care for us in our old age. \\

to:

'''Cora:''' I'm afraid Edith will be the one to care for us in our old age. \\



'''Robert:''' What a ghastly prospect.

to:

'''Robert:''' -->'''Robert:''' What a ghastly prospect.
29th Nov '12 4:16:03 PM SuperTroper
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Added DiffLines:

** Carson also admits that Mary is his favourite of the three.
29th Nov '12 2:38:29 PM SuperTroper
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29th Nov '12 5:43:40 AM johnnye
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* BookEnds: Robert always seems completely unsuspecting when Telegrams of Doom drop into his hands. Granted, the first was a freak disaster with personal implications only to the family; but the second comes amidst weeks if not months of building unease in the global news.

to:

* BookEnds: Robert always seems completely unsuspecting when Telegrams of Doom drop into his hands. Granted, the first was a freak disaster with personal implications only to the family; disaster; but the second comes amidst weeks if not months of building unease in the global news.



** When Mary walks in on Matthew and Mr. Murray discussing the management of Downton on the morning after the death of [[spoiler:her sister, Sybil]], she rather genteelly chews them out for their poor taste. The same episode sees Cora blame Robert for [[spoiler: the death]], and he accepts it as somewhat true, despite Violet's attempt to comfort him.
** It helps that Cora's calling out was totally justified. Not only did Robert ignore Clarksons advice concerning the pregnancy, but he actually ''refused'' to tell Tom about the choice to have a cesarean, despite Tom being Sybil's husband. [[spoiler: All this directly led to Sybil's death]]. Cora had a right to be pissed.

to:

** When Mary walks in on Matthew and Mr. Murray discussing the management of Downton on the morning after the death of [[spoiler:her sister, Sybil]], she rather genteelly chews them out for their poor taste. The same episode sees
**
Cora blame blames Robert for [[spoiler: Sybil's death]] after he makes the death]], wrong call in a case of conflicting medical advice, and he accepts it as somewhat true, that there's some truth to this, despite Violet's attempt to comfort him.
** It helps that Cora's calling out was totally justified. Not only did Robert ignore Clarksons advice concerning the pregnancy, but he actually ''refused'' to tell Tom about the choice to have a cesarean, despite Tom being Sybil's husband. [[spoiler: All this directly led to Sybil's death]]. Cora had a right to be pissed.
him.
28th Nov '12 4:13:50 PM EpitomeOfRandomness
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Added DiffLines:

** He was a little distracted by his wife's surprise pregnancy and miscarriage.
28th Nov '12 3:29:37 PM Yipeyu
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* DiesWideOpen: Vera Bates.
* DesignatedHero: Robert in Season 3, with his new obnoxiousness and arrogance. His behaviour [[spoiler: eventually causes Sybil's death.]] Not only did he ignore everyone else's advice about the birth, but he [[{{Jerkass}} consciously refused to tell Tom about the choice to have a cesarean or not]]. Instead he indicated Tom wasn't important enough to make the decision, despite being Sybil's ''husband''. Because Robert was the 'master of the house' he made the decision himself. And yes, it was the wrong one.
** In Episode 6, his treatment of Tom is even worse. Despite being responsible for [[spoiler: Tom's wife's ''death'']] he opposes a Catholic baptism (even though its Tom's child), the naming of said child, and implies Tom isn't a worthy part of his family. And he's still meant to be the 'hero' of the story, with most other characters readily forgiving him.

to:

* DiesWideOpen: Vera Bates.
* DesignatedHero: Robert in Season 3, with his new obnoxiousness and arrogance. His behaviour [[spoiler: eventually causes Sybil's death.]] Not only did he ignore everyone else's advice about the birth, but he [[{{Jerkass}} consciously refused to tell Tom about the choice to have a cesarean or not]]. Instead he indicated Tom wasn't important enough to make the decision, despite being Sybil's ''husband''. Because Robert was the 'master of the house' he made the decision himself. And yes, it was the wrong one.
** In Episode 6, his treatment of Tom is even worse. Despite being responsible for [[spoiler: Tom's wife's ''death'']] he opposes a Catholic baptism (even though its Tom's child), the naming of said child, and implies Tom isn't a worthy part of his family. And he's still meant to be the 'hero' of the story, with most other characters readily forgiving him.
Bates.
28th Nov '12 3:28:14 PM Yipeyu
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* DesignatedHero: Robert in Season 3, with his new obnoxiousness and arrogance. His behaviour [[spoiler: eventually causes Sybil's death.]] Not only did he ignore everyone else's advice about the birth, but he [[{{Jerkass}} consciously refused to tell Tom about the choice to have a cesarean or not]]. Instead he indicated Tom wasn't important enough to make the decision, despite being Sybil's ''husband''. Because Robert was the 'master of the house' he made the decision himself. And yes, it was the wrong one.
** In Episode 6, his treatment of Tom is even worse. Despite being responsible for [[spoiler: Tom's wife's ''death'']] he opposes a Catholic baptism (even though its Tom's child), the naming of said child, and implies Tom isn't a worthy part of his family. And he's still meant to be the 'hero' of the story, with most other characters readily forgiving him.



** When Mary walks in on Matthew and Mr. Murray discussing the management of Downton on the morning after the death of [[spoiler:her sister, Sybil]], she rather genteelly chews them out for their poor taste. The same episode sees Cora blame Robert for the death, and he accepts it as somewhat true, despite Violet's attempt to comfort him.
** Robert fullstop in Season 3, [[spoiler: especially concerning Sybil's death. Bad enough, he ignores everyone else's advice concerning the pregnancy. But not telling Tom about the choice to have a cesarean or not, crosses the line. Robert basically indicates Tom isn't important enough to decide, despite being Sybil's ''husband''. Because he is the 'master of the house' he makes the decision himself. And yes, its the wrong one]].
** In Episode 6, his treatment of Tom is even worse. Despite being responsible for [[spoiler: Tom's wife's ''death'']] he opposes a Catholic baptism (even though its Tom's child), the naming of said child, and implies Tom isn't a worthy part of his family. What the hell indeed.

to:

** When Mary walks in on Matthew and Mr. Murray discussing the management of Downton on the morning after the death of [[spoiler:her sister, Sybil]], she rather genteelly chews them out for their poor taste. The same episode sees Cora blame Robert for [[spoiler: the death, death]], and he accepts it as somewhat true, despite Violet's attempt to comfort him.
** It helps that Cora's calling out was totally justified. Not only did Robert fullstop in Season 3, [[spoiler: especially concerning Sybil's death. Bad enough, he ignores everyone else's ignore Clarksons advice concerning the pregnancy. But not telling pregnancy, but he actually ''refused'' to tell Tom about the choice to have a cesarean or not, crosses the line. Robert basically indicates Tom isn't important enough to decide, cesarean, despite Tom being Sybil's ''husband''. Because he is the 'master of the house' he makes the decision himself. And yes, its the wrong one]].
** In Episode 6, his treatment of Tom is even worse. Despite being responsible for
husband. [[spoiler: Tom's wife's ''death'']] he opposes All this directly led to Sybil's death]]. Cora had a Catholic baptism (even though its Tom's child), the naming of said child, and implies Tom isn't a worthy part of his family. What the hell indeed. right to be pissed.
27th Nov '12 2:13:57 PM kittenmommy
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Added DiffLines:

*ChristieTime: Starting in Series 2.
This list shows the last 10 events of 519. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.DowntonAbbey